There are indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities may meet with the Federal Government this week over the ongoing strike by the union.
The ASUU strike which started on Sunday, August 13, 2017 was announced by its National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, at a meeting of the National Executive Council of the union in Abuja.
It was learnt on Sunday that the union would present its position to the government on the offers made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, during their meeting on August 17, 2017 in Abuja.
A source explained that the ASUU meeting, which held on Saturday at the University of Abuja, discussed whether to suspend the strike on the basis of the offers made by the government.
The FG had during the meeting with ASUU leadership in Abuja offered to pay N23bn and a monthly payment of N1.5bn pending the outcome of the forensic audit being carried out by the Ministry of Finance.
It could not be immediately ascertained if the money had been paid as promised by the government.
Our correspondent gathered that over 80 per cent of the union members across the country voted that the strike should continue until the government fulfilled its part of the bargain.
The source said, “The ASUU meeting which held last Saturday at UniAbuja discussed the offers made by the government and whether the strike should be called off on the basis of the offers made by the government.
“It was decided that ASUU might seek an audience with the government this week to negotiate further concessions before the strike is called off.”
The ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, could not be reached for comment as he did not respond to calls and SMS to his phone.
Meanwhile, The PUNCH gathered on Sunday that university lecturers who were employed after 2010 would not benefit from the N23bn Earned Academic Allowances released by the Federal Government.
A source in ASUU in the South-West, who did not his name in print, said that lecturers engaged after 2010 would not be beneficiaries.
The source said, “There was an ASUU NEC meeting held on Friday in Abuja. Our zonal chairmen would be briefed on the outcome of deliberations on the NEC meeting particularly on the N23bn which was offered by the Federal Government.
“The about nine zones of ASUU will be meeting on Monday (today) to brief their members on the outcome of their deliberations concerning the ongoing strike over the 2009 agreement by the Federal Government.
“Top on the agenda to be discussed includes the N23bn which the government had recently agreed to pay. The N23bn is the arrears of 2009 and 2010. So, anybody that was employed after 2010 may not even benefit from it because that person did not earn it. The money is called Earned Academic Allowance, so you must have worked for the money and earned it.
“The money is just like overtime and it is paid for somebody that had done that work, not the normal working hours. It is earned and (exclusively) for 2009 and 2010. The Federal Government made an offer and collected views from all branches as to what they will do concerning the N23bn offer.”