Saturday, May 15, 2021

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School reopening: We are still on strike, ASUU reminds FG

Efforts to reopen schools may encounter a barrier as school staff unions, especially those belonging to FG, have issued a warning strike, while those already on strike may refuse to budge

Commenting on the developments, the President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Biodun Oguniyemi, said during an interview that the current union strike will continue.

He said, “We started out industrial action before the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in the country. All the issues we raised are yet to be addressed. The government is free to open their schools, just like our members are also entitled to their dues.

“As we speak, our members are being owed between three to six months of salaries. The government’s so-called fund saving platform, the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, is a colossal failure. Apart from that, the government is yet to take any step to revitalise education sector among others.”

Oguniyemi said that although the government has convened a meeting with ASUU it will wait and see what happens, adding that the university is always ready for negotiations.

He added that if the government does not reach an agreement with the union before the reopening date, members of ASUU will not go back to work.

Meanwhile, The Senior Staff Associationof Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), both operating under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), also said on Friday they would begin a two-week warning strike starting on October 5.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, the presidents of the UNILAG SSANU and NASU branches, Olusola Sowunmi and Kehinda Ajibadeh, said the government had broken its promises.

The unions accused the FG of deceiving their leaders into adopting the IPPIS. In listing their demands, the unions said that there were many discrepancies in the payment of members’ salaries as well as non-payment of benefits earned by members.

Other problems were delays in reviewing the agreements between the FGN/NASU and SSANU, as well as non-payment of pension benefits to retired members.

They also accused the teaching staff of illegally taking over the management of non-teaching units.

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