One month after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reached a compromise with the Federal Government and conditionally suspended its nine months strike, the union has said that engagements were still ongoing for full implementation of the signed Memorandum of Action (MoA).
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who spoke with our Correspondent exclusively yesterday in Abuja, said although some part of the agreement had been met, the union was still engaging government on the pending agreements, including salary arrears and Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
Ogunyemi, who noted that so far, both parties had not had any disagreements, was hopeful that the week would yield fruitful results. He said: “We are engaging government on the Memorandum of Action. Some aspects have been implemented; they have announced the visitation panel, the two months salary they promised have been paid.
“But we have arrears of salaries pending and we are still engaging government on that, the issue of EAA, we are talking on that and we hope we would sort it out successfully this coming week. “We have started the renegotiation, we are just on break, we will soon resume.
We are engaging government on the other aspects that have not been implemented and so far we have not had any disagreement. “We hope that government will do what they have promised to do in the coming week, so that our members will not have to go back to work on an empty stomach.
There is no way you can get the best out of lecturers when they are hungry and angry. We hope government will not allow the situation degenerate to that level.
“Certainly when some one cannot pay his or her bills you can not expect that person to continue to work like slaves.
We are not yet there, our members are still showing some level of understanding, but we pray government will not push them to the point where they become too hungry and too angry.”
Responding to the allegations from non-academic staff unions in universities on ASUU receiving the “lion share” of earned allowances, he maintained that ASUU only demanded a scientifically calculated and verified debt owed the union by government.
“We don’t have problem with the non-academic staff, it is legitimate for them to ask for what is due to their members or what thy feel they think is due to their members which ASUU has done.