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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

ASUU strike: University teachers say they will not return to work until their salaries are paid


 The Association of University Teachers of Nigeria (ASUU) will conclude its deliberations this week and notify the government of their resumption.

ASUU is in talks with its members on a new offer from the government after concluding their talks on November 27.

In the negotiations, the government agreed to pay the teachers' salaries but they had to go back to work - which the teachers said was unwise, there was no money and no work.

They say the government should not force anyone to return to teaching unless they are paid.

The group is complaining that the government is withholding its children's salaries because it refuses to participate in the payroll system introduced by the government.

"It is very important to know that the government has been keeping our members' allowances and salaries from July 2020 to October 2020, about four months ago," regional leader Olusiji Sowande told the BBC.

The mother of the union said the government had given them a deadline to pay their salaries along with following up on how to pay and the deadline would expire this weekend, after which the union would take the final step.

They say if the government does not pay their salaries, they will not go back to school, and they will not accept any promises the government makes to them in the future.

Representatives of the two sides met seven times to find a solution to the strike, giving students a chance to return to school.

The union began its strike in March this year with the aim of pressuring the government to provide university facilities to enable students to learn and compete with their counterparts around the world.

They also need to be paid their unpaid allowances.

Then there is the third thing which is the payment of their salaries which the government has withheld from them.

The strike has been going on for eight months, and some of the demands have been met by the end of the talks:

  • The group wants the government to pay 110 billion naira for school renovations but has reduced its demand to 55 billion naira but the government says it can only pay 30 billion naira.
  • The government has said it will pay 40 billion naira in severance pay
  • With regard to their salaries, the government agreed to pay on the basis of their previous salary structure
  • At the end of the negotiations, the government agreed to pay ASUU N70 billion for university renovations.

So what did ASUU do for the rest ?


One of the government's unwelcome offers to ASUU was the money it said it would provide for university renovations.

The BBC has found that many schools in Nigeria are complaining about the lack of resources.

They say they don't have good libraries, there is no electricity and some don't even have chairs.

They say the dormitories are dilapidated, and with government funding, these problems facing Nigerian universities cannot be addressed.

Secondly, there is the issue of their salaries, which the government says they should return to work before paying them, but they say they should be paid and then go back to school.

This government is not serious, and has shown ASUU that it cannot deliver on its promises.

"The agreement reached in 2017 and 2019 to date has not been fulfilled, so we will not accept them," said an ASUU president.



It will be returned to school this year ?

There is still no confirmation of the opening of universities in Nigeria.

There are still some issues that the two sides have not agreed on.

Since the formation of ASUU in 1978, the union has gone on several strikes to meet its demands.

She went on strike in 1988, 1992, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2019 and 2020 and ended it, but this time they said they would not return until their demands were met.


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