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IPPIS: Strike continues despite paying withheld salaries, ASUU tells Buhari.

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      The Academic Staff Union of Universities says its ongoing strike would continue despite the order of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that February and March 2020 withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities should be paid. The Federal Government had previously withheld the lecturers’ salaries over their refusal to register in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The union, among other issues, embarked on an indefinite strike, arguing that the implementation of the IPPIS was against the FG-ASUU 2009 agreement.

     Reacting to the payment of withheld salaries, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, insisted that the lecturers would not resume work because the strike was not only about IPPIS. Instead, he told The PUNCH that the payment would pave the way for a meaningful dialogue with the government. “Now, we can discuss without an atmosphere of intimidation. This will lead to a meaningful dialogue. The ongoing industrial strike action by the union is still on. Our strike is not just about the IPPIS,” he added.

    He also queried the motive of the federal government on questions to vice chancellors. Ogunyemi said, “If they had not paid at this time, with what everyone is going through, it would have meant a declaration of war. The discussion will start when they pay. They have even attached a condition to the payment. “Our members weren’t paid with BVN in the past. Why the sudden change? They should go back to the old system which they have always used to pay.”

     The ASUU president said paying the lecturers was not a favour, adding that “Members worked in February and we were still working in March before this coronavirus pandemic broke. It is expected that a labourer is paid his wages. Even as we are talking, people are supposed to be prepared to get their April salary.”

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ASUU chapters at loggerheads after FG offer to end 8-month strike.

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The controversy generated by the ongoing strike between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to abate despite the pleas from Nigerians.

The Nation reports that some branches of ASUU were divided over whether to accept the federal government’s offer and call off their eight-month-old strike. Legit.ng gathered that the union would harmonise the positions of zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja on Friday, November 27. The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, addressing the leadership of ASUU in Abuja over the strike. The report said while some branches insisted that the government must meet all the demands before the strike is called off, the union may put the decision to a vote. It was learnt that the Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).

The branch, however, called for payment of the allowance before the strike will be called off. The newspaper noted that the lecturers at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta state, said negotiations with the federal government must be concluded before the strike is called off. The chairman of ASUU at the university, Ezekiel Agbalagba, said the congress on Wednesday, November 25, accepted the EAA, but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the varsities.

He said:

“We are willing to suspend the strike, but some of those contending issues should be thrashed and thrashed once.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the authority of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) directed all non-teaching staff of the institution to resume work on Friday, November 27, with cutlasses, hoes, brooms, and buckets to clear overgrown grass, sweep offices as well as keep the environment clean.

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