Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 indicated that it might resume its suspended strike in February 2021, if the Federal Government failed to implement agreements it signed with the lecturers.
The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Lagos while shedding more light on the decision of the union to suspend its nine-month strike.
While ASUU suspended its industrial action on Wednesday, the non-academic unions in universities threatened to go on strike over N40bn earned allowances government promised to release to all unions but is yet to fulfil the promise, describing the sharing formula as unfair.
ASUU had on March 23, 2020 commenced a nationwide strike over the Federal Government’s insistence that all its employees must register for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
Although government argued that the IPPIS was meant to eliminate fraud, the union stated that it should not be applicable to universities on the grounds that it violated their autonomy. In the alternative, ASUU developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which it said would meet the peculiarities of universities.
Until Tuesday’s meeting between the two sides, they had disagreed over UTAS, which government said would only be adopted if it tallied with the IPPIS.
Besides its opposition to the IPPIS, other demands of ASUU are setting up of visitation panels for universities, payment of earned academic allowances and revitalization of infrastructure in the universities.
Ogunyemi in the interview with journalists said if the government reneged on its promises, members of the union would not hesitate to withdraw their services. Earlier at a press conference in Abuja, he said the union would as from 12am on Thursday, December 24, 2020 suspend its strike.
The decision to suspend the strike, according to Ogunyemi, was unanimously reached by the National Executive Committee of the union, after considering reports from the national secretariat and various branches.
While assuring Nigerians that ASUU would fulfil its own part of the agreements it reached with government, Ogunyemi warned that the union would not hesitate to resume its suspended strike should government fail to reciprocate the gesture.