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FG accedes to ASUU, RATTAWU’s demands

By James Uwem
THE ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union  of  Universities  (ASUU) and   Radio Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU) may soon end as the Federal Government  has  finally accepted to meet their demands.

It has made available N60 billion to pay for the salary increase as demanded  by  ASUU and the  monetisation arrears demanded by  RATAWU.

The Minister of  Labour  and Productivity, Mr. Adetokunbo  Kayode, said  this yesterday in Abuja .

The minister stated that, “Government has issued  a white paper ordering the finance minister and  other related agencies to  set aside  N20.6bn to settle ASUU’s  salary  increase  demands  and N40bn for the  settlement of the monetisation  for  RATTAWU and other government staff,” Kayode  stated.

The  disbursement  of  the funds  for the settlement of  monetisation arrears,   according  to the minister,  will  begin on Monday, July 13 while  that of ASUU salary increase  will take effect  from   August 1,2009.

“This present  government is  fully  committed   to maintaining peace in the industrial sector, as  such, there  wasn’t  any  basis for the  strike in the  first  place,   as government was working on modalities to permanently resolve every position presented by these unions.

“N60bn is lodged in designated banks and will be paid into individual accounts from July 13 for the monetisations and August 1, respectively  for salary increase of ASUU  members .”

The minister  however stated that  ASUU ,RATAWU  and  others have no reason to continue  forging ahead with the   strike. He  pleaded   with the Unions to go back  to work,  stating  that government  ‘no work no pay is  still enforce’ as  such since money has been earmarked for this  settlement , the  strike should be called off.

Mr. Kayode also  added that  government  at this  stage  has  agreed to all the four  demands  by  ASUU including having full autonomy by individual Universities.

This in essence the  minister  said means ,  those  Universities that  are financially buoyant may have the ability to pay their staff more  than others , In that  regard he added that federal government has agreed to pay ASUU its due but may not compel state owned Universities to concede to the  increase as states he added can only pay what the revenue can carry.


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