The non-academic staff unions in Nigerian universities Wednesday called off their three-month-old strike.
The suspension of the strike, which began on December 4, was announced by Samson Ugwuoke, the chairman of the Joint Action Committee of the unions.
“Based on extensive consultations with our various organs, we hereby announce the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by JAC with effect from today, March 14,” Uguwoke said at a press conference in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the unions had embarked on an indefinite strike on Dec. 4, 2017 over failure of the Federal Government to fully implement 2009 Agreements and various Memoranda of Terms of Settlements.
The Federal Government recently said it would source for N8 billion within five weeks to settle the unions.
Ugwoke said that the decision to suspend the strike was due to an agreement reached with the Federal Government that within a period of five weeks’ that their demands would be implemented.
According to him, we hereby announce the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU, and SSANU with effect from today, March 14, 2018.
“We have, therefore, directed our members to resume work on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
“We, however, wish to state that the strike is only suspended and we shall not hesitate to resume the strike if government reneges on the agreement reached or delays in any aspects.
“We are resuming with one eye closed. We trusted the government before and they failed, this time around, if they fail, the outcome and reaction will be grievous to the system.
“We also appeal to our members to be more dutiful and conscientious at their duty posts and show more commitment towards covering the lost ground occasioned by the strike,‘’ he said.
Ugwoke said that the understanding that was reached, gave five-week period for implementation on payment of a fraction of the arrears owned on Earned Allowances to members and report of progress made in respect of CONTISS 14 and 15 for Technologist.
The JAC chairman also said that the issue of staff schools was to be taken up by the Ministry of Education with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to ensure that they complied with the National Industrial Court ruling.
He explained that on the issue of Visitation Panels to Universities, it was agreed that there would be follow up and the report would be presented in five weeks’ times.
“The fact that the government side had now develop the courage to commit itself in writing via yet another Memorandum, we resolved to revert to our various organs and give a feedback to the world today,‘’ he said.
Ugwoke, however, commended the Minister of Labour and Employment for facilitating the reconciliation, Minister of Education, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services and other stakeholders for their supports.