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Strike: FG Drags ASUU To Court Over Failed Negotiations

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The federal government’s dispute with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has kept many universities closed for more than seven months, will be heard in the Industrial Court on Monday.

ASUU has been on strike since February 15 to protest alleged infrastructure decay at various institutions, as well as neglect of its members’ welfare.

A reliable source at the Federal Ministry of Labour told THISDAY last night that the ministry’s Trade Dispute Department had filed a case before the Industrial Arbitration Court in Abuja and that the hearing would commence next Monday.

According to the source, “The federal government has filed a case at the Industrial Court challenging the continued strike by the university teachers. This is in conformity with Section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act.”

A series of negotiations between the federal government and the ASUU leadership have resulted in a stalemate with no tangible outcome.

However, after meeting at the National University Commission’s office in Abuja on Tuesday, talks between the federal government and ASUU came to a halt.

The federal government has stated that it will not sign any other agreement that it will be unable to implement.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this during a meeting of Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities, held at the NUC’s office.

Adamu said President Muhammadu Buhari had warned the government’s team involved in the negotiation with ASUU against signing an agreement that the government would not be able to fulfil.

The minister said the government had offered the union a 23.5 per cent salary increase “for all categories of the workforce in federal universities, except for the professorial cadre which will enjoy a 35 per cent upward review. He said the government had also promised that N150 billion “shall be provided for in the 2023 Budget as funds for the revitalisation of federal universities, to be disbursed to the Institutions in the First Quarter of the year.”

Also, the government said N50 billion would be provided “for in the 2023 Budget for the payment of outstanding arrears of earned academic allowances, to be paid in the first quarter of the year.”

However, ASUU and three other university unions have rejected the offer, describing it as “inadequate to meet their respective demands needed to tackle the challenges confronting the university system.”

ThisDay

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