WE MAY GO ON INDEFINITE STRIKE, FG IS NOT SERIOUS WITH NEGOTIATION, SAYS ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has accused the federal government of showing levity in its ongoing negotiation with the union whose members are currently on a four-week strike.

The union therefore said ending the industrial action is dependent on the readiness of the government to take the issue at stake seriously and do the needful.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the last meeting between the two sides could not achieve anything because the government team acted as if it did not know the issues at stake.

“Our last meeting did not lead to anything meaningful because the government team acted as if they were not aware of the issues at stake. We have been on this thing for some years now. What we expected from them is to come to the meeting with answers to what we are demanding.

“We were surprised that their team came with no action as to how to resolve the issues. Another meeting is slated for Tuesday and we hope they would change and do the needful. What we are asking for has been in public domain for long that almost everybody knows what the issues are. It is surprising that they did not come with any action plan to.meet our demands and resolve the issues,” he said.

Asked whether the next meeting would be used to resolve the faceoff, Osodeke said government’s action and readiness would determine that.

He added that the demands of the union were still the same regarding revitalising university education, discontinuance of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment system in the universities, payment of promotion and salary arrears among others.

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Findings by our correspondent, however, showed that the two major areas of disagreement is the IPPIS that the lecturers want to be replaced with the University Transparency and Accountability System, UTAS and adequate funding of the sector.

Government is reluctant to do away with IPPIS because it feels it helps to eliminate the situation whereby some lecturers are on the payroll of more than one university.

On the call for more money to be pumped into the sector, the government is claiming that it is currently having paucity of funds, a claim the union said can be tackled by the government setting its priority right.

If the two sides fail to resolve their faceoff by March 13, this year, the union may go on an indefinite strike

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