ASUU gives conditions to end strike

VARSITY teachers have agreed to suspend their five months old strike, The Nation learnt yesterday.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given three conditions to be tabled before President Goodluck Jonathan today.

If the terms are acceptable to the Federal Government, the union will call off the strike.

The ASUU leadership has banned its local chapters and zonal chairmen from talking to the media until after the session with the President.
ASUU President Dr. Nasir Issa Fagge and other leaders of the union were being expected in Abuja last night.

According to a source, who was part of the ASUU session at Mambayya House in Kano, the conditions are:
 •commitment from the President that any review or reconsideration or renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement will not substantially affect the pact which is the cause of the ongoing strike;
•immediate payment of all outstanding salary arrears and allowances of varsity teachers without victimization; and
•a written commitment from the President that the Federal Government will commit N225billion annually to the funding of universities for the next four years.
There is a fourth condition, which is said to be “personal” to ASUU, bordering on the need to be wary of gradual loss of public sympathy.
The union leaders were said to have recognised public goodwill for the strike and the need to avert any action that could erode such confidence.
The source said: “Our leaders are meeting with the President on Monday to table these conditions. Once the President accepts these three terms, the strike will be called off.
“In principle, members voted about 60-40 per cent to call off the strike, but they added a caveat – that ASUU leaders should extract a commitment (signed and sealed) from the President.
The union is said to have insisted on the three conditions because during talks with the Federal Government, it was apparent that the government wanted a renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement.
“If ASUU had accepted to renegotiate the entire Agreement , it means there will be no basis for the ongoing strike. The worst that can happen is either having the abridged version of the 2009 Agreement or a phased implementation of the document,” the source added.
The Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State became at the weekend the third institution to break ranks with the striking union.
It asked its students to return to the campus today. Lecture are to start on December 2, according to the Registrar, Mr. Bamidele Olotu.

Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), Enugu, and the Ibrahim Badamosi University, Lapai, in Niger State had earlier directed the reopening of the schools.
The registrar directed students to begin their registration on the school portal immediately.
AAUA Student Union President Julius Adeniyi welcomed the resumption plan and assured his fellow students of a hitch-free semester.
He said: “We are dying and wasting away our time at home; and I am backing my Vice Chancellor on the resumption date. We are coming in and nothing will happen.”

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