The leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff unions of universities has announced the suspension of its three- week strike after signing a Memorandum of Action with the Federal Government team.
The suspension of the strike takes effect from, Friday 26 2021, the JAC stated.
Both unions under the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU commenced an indefinite strike on February 5, 2021.
The unions went on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to resolve issues in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
They are also protesting the sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage, among others.
JAC of the non-teaching staff of universities comprises of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU).
Addressing reporters at the end of a meeting with the Federal Government team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, said the unions agreed to suspend the national strike after extracting some concessions from the government.
He said the union’s demand have been harmonised to the satisfaction of both parties.
He stressed that they will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with timeline, to ensure that the government implement its own side of the bargain.
According to Adeyemi, the JAC leadership was given the mandate by its members to suspend the strike whenever an agreement was reached with the federal government.
He said: “We had eight items which we negotiated and which formed the basis for our ongoing national strike.
“Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.
“So we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonised has been harmonised to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.
“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in this struggle, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement its own side of the bargain.
“If the FG doesn’t, we have no reason but to call our members to resume the suspended strike but for now, the strike is suspended with effect from 12 midnight of tomorrow February 26.”
Adeyemi stressed that the union will not hesitate to call back its members to resume the suspended strike if the government fails to implement all the agreements reached.
Ngige told reporters that all the rough edges in the former negotiation had been straightened out.
“If you remember, this is about the fourth negotiation we are having on the matters brought by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both unions and today’s deliberation has been very fruitful.
“We have issued a conciliation document, a Memorandum of Action (MOA) and the two unions will get back to their members today with the MOA. They have in good faith promised to revert to the government in the next 48 hours.
“So, we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communication with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us, more so when the government is desirous of the return of normal activities to the university system, so that we can take the actions, one after the other,” the minister said.
Ngige said on the return of normalcy to the universities, the government will follow up with the visitation panels which is one of the agreements reached with the unions and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the system.
He thanked the unions and the government side for responding to an emergency meeting convened within 24 hours and coming out with very positive results.
SOURCE: THE NATION