100 per cent pay rise likely for striking varsity teachers

An end to the strike by university teachers may be in sight.

 

There were strong indications yesterday that they may get a 100 per cent pay rise.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to wade into the protracted crisis.

 

He may meet all those involved in the negotiation before opening talks with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU).

 

The union’s position has been strengthened by the massive support it is getting from critical stakeholders.

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had directed its state councils to mobilise for a protest in support of ASUU next Tuesday and Wednesday.

National Universities Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary Prof. Abubakar Rasheed warned against weakening the university system, which he said was critical to economic development.

 

But, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejo, expressed confidence that the strike would end soon.

 

A committee led by the Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Lokoja, Prof. Nimi Briggs, had recommended a 180 per cent pay rise for lecturers.

 

 

The Briggs panel has been renegotiating the 2009 pact with ASUU.

 

But the government was said to have favoured a 100 per cent increase, although options were still being weighed at a meeting last night.

 

A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said the Federal Government and ASUU may reach an amicable agreement in a “short time.”

 

The source said: “So far, the government may concede to a 100 per cent salary increase for the striking lecturers. This is a key part of the ongoing review of the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement.

 

“The payment of all outstanding allowances will be mutually agreed upon by both parties based on the nation’s economic situation.

“This is why the government is bringing in some ministries and parastatals to the negotiation table.

 

“They include the ministries of finance, education, labour and employment, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.”

 

The source also confirmed that President Buhari has decided to intervene by meeting with all the parties.

 

The source said the President will in the next few days receive a brief from the Federal Government negotiating team before having an audience with ASUU.

 

The source added: “The President has chosen to personally intervene to ensure that universities are reopened in the shortest time possible.

 

“Once he gets an update on the negotiation, he will meet with ASUU leaders to harmonise offers.”

A senior government official said: “The government is determined to end the strike in a short time.”

 

 

 

 

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