The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has conditionally suspended their five weeks old strike embarked upon to press for the implementation of agreements reached with the government and has directed their members to return to the classroom with immediate effect.
President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi who addressed a news conference at about 9.30 pm last night after another round of meeting with the government delegation led by the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige directed all members of the union to return to work after their branch congresses on Tuesday.
He said they decided to conditionally suspend the strike action in view of the timeline of October 2017 for the implementation of the signed agreement.
He said that the union will not hesitate to resume the suspended action if the government renege on the signed agreement which he called Memorandum of Action, adding that the signed agreement was backed by a definite timeline for implementation.
He warned that the government must not deliberately dishonor the agreement, pointing out that the continuous breach of signed agreement has been responsible for the constant strike action in the Universities.
Ogunyemi said that the current agreement with the government is based on mutual trust between the union and the government, adding that the trust of the union must be respected by the government.
The meeting which started about 4.00pm was supposed to last for about one hour, but dragged for about four hours before agreement was reached on All contending issues.
Briefing Journalist earlier after the meeting which ended at about 7.55pm, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said all the gray areas have been sorted out and an agreement reached.
He said that members of the union had insisted that they were tired of having agreements that are not implemented, pointing out that the content of the agreement was taken from the series of meeting with the union since the commencement of the strike.
He said further that that both the government and the union understood themselves and agreed in several issues, assuring that the agreement reached will be implemented by the government in line with available resources.
Areas of agreement include funding for revitalization of public universities and the issue of Earn Academic Allowances, the issue of University Staff Schools and the implementation of the judgement of the National Industrial Court, National Universities Pension Management Company and guidelines for pension matters formProfessors.
He also said that the union agreed to the exemption offered by the government regarding the issue of TSA, which include the issue of grants, endowment fund as well as salary short fall which he said is already being implemented by government.
On the issue of state universities, he said they agreed that the union will submit a position paper to the federal government on their observation with a view for government to advise state government on the funding of state universities.
He describe the union as patriotic members of the society, pointing out that anybody who demand better working equipment is no doubt a patriot.