After almost five months of failed negotiations, Nigerian university lecturers have agreed to end the ongoing strike.
However, the teachers, under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have stated three conditions which must be met before the strike could be called off.
The conditions will be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan along with the Federal Government team today and if all parties are in agreement with the terms, the strike would be called off.
Nigerian Eye reports:
The ASUU leadership has banned its local chapters and zonal chairmen from talking to the media until after the session with the President.
ASUU President Dr. Nasir Issa Fagge and other leaders of the union were being expected in Abuja last night.
According to a source, who was part of the ASUU session at Mambayya House in Kano, the conditions are:
•Commitment from the President that any review or reconsideration or renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement will not substantially affect the pact which is the cause of the ongoing strike;
•Immediate payment of all outstanding salary arrears and allowances of varsity teachers without victimization; and
•A written commitment from the President that the Federal Government will commit N225billion annually to the funding of universities for the next four years.
There is a fourth condition, which is said to be “personal” to ASUU, bordering on the need to be wary of gradual loss of public sympathy.
The union leaders were said to have recognised public goodwill for the strike and the need to avert any action that could erode such confidence.
The source said: “Our leaders are meeting with the President on Monday to table these conditions. Once the President accepts these three terms, the strike will be called off.
“In principle, members voted about 60-40 per cent to call off the strike, but they added a caveat – that ASUU leaders should extract a commitment (signed and sealed) from the President.
The union is said to have insisted on the three conditions because during talks with the Federal Government, it was apparent that the government wanted a renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement.
“If ASUU had accepted to renegotiate the entire Agreement , it means there will be no basis for the ongoing strike. The worst that can happen is either having the abridged version of the 2009 Agreement or a phased implementation of the document,” the source added.