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University workers suspend strike

The leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff unions of universities has suspended its three-week-old strike with effect from midnight of today, February 26. JAC non-teaching staff comprises the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU).

NASU’s General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, who spoke to newsmen after a Conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government, said the resolution to suspend the national strike was reached after extracting some concessions from the Federal Government.

While noting that the union’s demands have been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties, he said they would continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with a timeline, to ensure that the government keeps to its word to implement its own side of the bargain. Adeyemi, however, warned that the union would not hesitate to call back its members to resume the suspended strike should the government fail to implement all the agreements reached He said: “We had eight items which we negotiated and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike.

Our members in our various campuses in the universities and interuniversities 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 harmonized have been harmonized 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.” Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the meeting was very fruitful as all the rough edges arising from the former negotiations had been smoothened.

“Today’s deliberations have been very fruitful. We have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA), and the two unions will get back to their members today and in good faith, have promised that there will speak to government before the end of tomorrow,” Ngige said The unions’ demands included, rectifying inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in renegotiation with government, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, among others.

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