Full academic activities are expected to resume on Monday in all the federal universities in the country as the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have suspended their industrial action.
The suspension was not, however, without some provisos.
The two unions said they would resume their action if the Federal Government fails to implement the memorandum of understanding it signed with them within the stipulated periods.
The issues in contention include inconsistencies in IPPIS payments; non-payment of arrears of National Minimum Wage; non-payment of Earned Allowances; delay in renegotiation of FGN/NASU and SSANU 2009 Agreements; non-payment of retirement benefits to outgone members; teaching staff usurping headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures; neglect and poor funding of state universities and non-constitution of visitation panels for universities.
A statement signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, and National President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, in Abuja, said the strike action was embarked upon as a result of government’s failure to implement an agreement reached last year.
At the end of negotiations between the parties last Thursday night, understandings were reached with the government side with specific timelines.
In suspending the strike, the two unions said government entered into a written agreement via a Memorandum of Action, which was acceptable to their members and deemed enough to put the action on hold.
“In line with the majority resolution of our members across the universities and inter-university centres that the strike be suspended while expecting government to act in good faith on the Memorandum of Action, it is with great sense of responsibility that we announce the suspension of the industrial action with effect from the midnight of Friday, February 26, 2021,” the unions said.
Both NASU and SSANU noted that government was expected to reciprocate the goodwill of the unions by implementing the terms contained in the new agreement.
“We hope that government shall reciprocate the patriotic and compassionate consideration of the leadership of the two unions and ensure that the agreements are implemented according to the set timelines.
We cannot afford to have our system set back due to protracted and avoidable industrial actions and we believe that the ultimate buck to avoid industrial actions in the university system lie solely with government. Our decision should never be taken as cowardice or foolishness but in the interest of the students and the system which we hold very dear to our hearts,” they added.