The Federal Government has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing strike in the interest of Nigerians.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the appeal on Tuesday, August 15, in a statement.
ASUU commenced an indefinite strike on Monday over alleged FG’s breach of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement on financing of state universities; breach of the conditions of service; refusing to honour the Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) and re-negotiation of the agreement.
But Ngige blamed ASUU for not following due process before commencing on the indefinite strike.
He said the Union was supposed to give the Federal Government the mandatory 15 days’ notice as contained in Section 41 of Trade Disputes Act, Cap T8, 2004.
“In fact, it was on Monday, August 14, 2017, that the office of the minister received a letter dated August 13, 2017, from ASUU, that is, one full day after it commenced the strike,” the Minister said.
He said ASUU’s letter was to inform the Federal Government that it had started a strike instead of a declaration of intention to go on a strike as contained in the Trade Dispute Act, 2004.
“The Federal Government, therefore, wishes to appeal to ASUU to consider the students who are currently writing degree and promotion examinations, to call off the strike and return to the negotiation table.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment will ensure that a time-frame will be tied to the negotiation this time around,” the minister said.
He added that the action was against the spirit of social dialogue and Collective Bargaining Agreement for ASUU to embark on a strike despite an ongoing negotiation.