ASUU says it will not resume until implementation of 2009 Agreement

Nigerian Education Minister Adamu Adamu on Monday gave a three-month deadline to the newly inaugurated committee tasked with renegotiating the 2009 agreement between the government and university workers’ unions, including the Union of Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU), Association of Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Education and Associated Institutions Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists. But ASUU leadership has said the ongoing three-week national strike will continue until “whatever the government wants to do with the deal is completed and acceptable implementation begins.” Opening Adamu, who was speaking at the opening of the renegotiation committee in Abuja, said he expected the exercise to conclude within three months and produce a preliminary document. The seven-man committee will be chaired by Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nimi Briggs. The minister said the committee is expected to review drafts of the 2009 agreements and negotiate with university unions including SSANU, NAAT and NASU. Listing the terms of reference for the committee, the minister said: “Establish contact and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalize the Federal Government’s position on the issues in the draft proposed Renegotiated FGN/ASUU Agreement; “Renegotiate in realistic and viable terms the 2009 Agreements with other University Unions; Negotiate and recommend any other issue that the Committee considers relevant to reposition the SNE for global competitiveness; and submit proposals for draft agreements within three (3) months following the date of taking office.” Selection Mr. Adamu said that the nomination of the committee members and chair was “not disconnected from their record of invaluable impact on the development and advancement of the Nigerian University System”. “I have no reservations that I would carry out this important task with the seriousness and urgency that it deserves. This is more so considering the ongoing industrial action by one of the unions,” he said. He added that the government has appointed other relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to act as advisers or observers. The minister said that the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreements between the Federal Government and the university staff unions began on Monday, February 13, 2017. “However, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise has unfortunately been extended until now.” he said. He urged the committee to redouble its efforts to complete the task and produce a “realistic and workable draft” that will comprehensively address the challenges facing the NUS and reposition it to effectively play its very important role in national development. ‘Do not resume until…’ Speaking on behalf of the union, ASUU Lagos zone coordinator Adelaja Odukoya said the position of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) is that there will be no suspension of the ongoing strike until the renegotiated agreement is implemented. . “NEC is very clear in its position on the conditions of service. She said that until that is resolved and the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is deployed in the university system, the strike will continue. And since the condition of service is contained in the agreement that has been renegotiated and now it is going to be renegotiated again, then until the government’s game ends and the result is put in our hands, there will be no end to this strike,” said the Mr. said Odukoya. Asked if ASUU would be willing to honor the new committee if invited to a bargaining meeting, Mr Odukoya said only the union’s NEC can answer that “but I’m sure ASUU doesn’t rule out opportunities for talks.” “. The official lamented the poor pay of Nigerian teachers and said that a full-fledged teacher at the peak of his career and who can no longer be promoted earns only N416,000 per month, and that has been his lot since 2009. “How much did a sack of rice cost in 2009 and how much is it worth now? What was it and what is the exchange rate? Have politicians received the same salary since 2009? If no one is ashamed, we are. So there is no going back on this. That they continue to delay does not bother us, ”she added. Meanwhile, as ASUU is already in its fourth week of its industrial action that began on February 14, the SSANU and NASU Joint Action Committee (JAC) said it is already mobilizing members for a showdown with the government. background The 2009 agreement between the labor union and the Nigerian government has been a major source of a long-running labor dispute that has grounded Nigerian universities many times. ALSO READ: Why we can’t meet ASUU’s demands – FG In the past three years, the renegotiation committee has had three different teams all trying to come up with an acceptable draft. First was the renegotiation committee led by a former chancellor of the University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin, who was appointed in 2017. In November 2020, Mr. Babalakin, after some three years of no progress and following his disagreement with the UNILAG leadership, resigned from the committee in protest. advertisements A month later, in December 2020, Munzali Jibril, Emeritus Professor of English and former Chairman of the Governing Council of Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, took over as Chairman of the committee. Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige said Jibril and most of her committee members have withdrawn as favored foreign ministers, making them unable to participate in the negotiation. But with the inauguration of a new team on Monday, it is not clear whether the task will be accomplished within the timeframe given by the minister. Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in association with Report for the World, which connects local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on hidden issues around the world.” Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; ASUU says it will not resume until implementation of 2009 Agreement