ASUU STRIKE UPDATE: ASUU May Call Off Strike Next Week, Demands Slash Of Lawmakers’ Salaries By 2014
THE about five-month-old strike embarked upon by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may be called off next week.
It was gathered that the union would conclude consultations with its members and may resume class soon.
The union, it was also gathered, had asked the Federal Government to slash across board, salaries of National Assembly members, ministers and other political office holders by 2014.
The demand was placed on the Federal Government at a marathon meeting leadership of the union held with President Goodluck Jonathan and other key government officials at the Presidential Villa, on Monday. ASUU president, Dr Nasir Isa Fagge, could not confirm this, as calls put to him on his mobile line were unsuccessful, but ASUU source told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja that the demand formed part of their deliberations on Monday to early hours of Tuesday.
The source said ASUU had suggested this based on the complaint by the Federal Government that it had no money to implement all aspects of the 2009 agreement as demanded. Nigerian Tribune, however, gathered that branch chairmen of the ASUU had been directed to brief their members on the offer by President Jonathan, which is largely an addition of N20 billion to the N200 billion already agreed upon with Vice President Namadi Sambo to be released to universities annually. According to the fresh pact, the Federal Government had agreed to release N220 billion yearly to the public universities, beginning from 2014 till the next five years. It was also gathered that the meeting adopted the accord struck by the vice president with the union, on the need to increase the N30 billion already released for the payment of academic earned allowance to N40 billion. According to sources, government also agreed that the N40 billion should be regarded only as first instalment, and not a once-and-for-all payment. At the meeting, the government assured that it would, among other things, revamp the public universities by ensuring that all those issues that always led to strike were dealt with once and for all. ASUU president had, after the meeting, told reporters that his team would take back the message of President Jonathan to varsity teachers before a decision would be taken on the next line of action.