Striking university workers made up of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists have suspended their five day warning strike. The strike was called off after a two day meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and attended by officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission and National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
A letter signed by leaders of the three unions, Com. Alh. Sani Suleiman President NAAT, Com. Peters Adeyemi, Gen. Sec. NASU, and Com. Samson Ugwoke President SSANU directed members to return to work immediately. The letter reads in part. “This is to inform you that the leadership of JAC met with the Federal Government team led by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator (Dr.)Chris Ngige, on Wednesday, 18th January, 2017 and resolved the issues in dispute.”
“in view of this healthy development therefore, you are hereby directed to convene the meeting of JAC Congress today, 19th January 2017 to suspend the strike action for work to resume on Friday, 20th January 2017.”
The minister of Labour had appealed to the workers to call off their strike and return to the negotiating table in accordance with international labour conventions. Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige said the meeting agreed on five of the issues raised by the unions, which include earned allowances, shortfall in salaries, university staff schools, corruption in universities and what the government is doing to curtail such corruption and protect whistle blowers that are being victimized.
The Minister had earlier told the unions that the ministry decided to wade into the dispute with a view to resolving it and pave the way for social dialogue among stakeholders in the interest of the nation’s educational system.