The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that there will be no resolution of its ongoing strike until after the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, who spoke with a section of the media, stated that such decision must be taken by ASUU’s National Executive Council.
Ogunyemi explained that ASUU had told the government that it would negotiate and consider the government’s offers after the COVID-19 pandemic had been resolved.
“They have sent an invitation to us for discussion; we have told them it is not feasible for now. We believe that as soon as we collectively address the issue of COVID-19, we will meet at the negotiation table and we will sort out all the issues.
“We have not seen any new offer from the government and any offer we get; we have to convey NEC. It is when COVID-19 is over that we can convey NEC,” Ogunyemi said.
He added that the stoppage of February and March salaries of its members was not why the union embarked on strike.
Ogunyemi, said on Wednesday that the Federal Government’s decision to pay the February and March salaries of its members was “commendable but was not the reason for the strike.”
“We didn’t go on strike because of the stoppage of salary. We went on strike because we made some specific demands on the government. And we were discussing before the issue of stoppage of salaries came in.
“Our demands are still there and we are yet to reach understanding on the demands. So, if it has pleased the government to restore the salaries of our members, it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
ASUU on March 23 had declared a “total and indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action and over the lingering crisis on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
Five contentious issues raised in the 2019 MoA included the revitalisation fund for universities, outstanding earned academic allowances and establishment of visitation panels to universities.
ASUU, while rejecting the IPPIS, has proposed an alternative model: the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it urged the Federal Government to adopt for the universities.