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FG, ASUU talks deadlock

*FG to apply ‘no work no pay’ rule

By Funmi Kimolafe

Abuja – The renewed negotiation of the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) broke down yesterday. Consequently, government has decided to apply the “No work, no pay” for the striking lecturers if they fail to suspend the strike and create a conducive condition for negotiation.

Labour minister, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode told newsmen that  “The Government team endeavoured to facilitate the conclusion of the negotiation at the strict employer-employee level. Unfortunately, that effort has been stalled by the current strike action. We, therefore, cannot get to the point where the Councils can receive the documents and speedily conclude the negotiations for implementation.

Consequently, the government team is not in a position to continue further negotiations with the union until it suspends its strike action to provide an enabling environment for them”. The minister said ASUU has been frustrating Federal Government efforts to resolve the crisis.

Government’s negotiation team chaired by Deacon Gamaliel Onasode said it could not negotiate under duress as  ASUU  refused to suspend the strike and create enabling environment for discussion.

The Industrial Arbitration Panel to which the Federal Government referred the trade dispute had directed ASUU to suspend the strike to give room for arbitration but the leadership of ASUU claimed ignorance of any trade dispute declared by the government.

The Federal Government on Thursday expressed a serious concern over what it described as too rigid posture of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) on the crisis in the university system and the negotiation with the union, saying that ASUU was causing a lot of problems within the system.

Labour minister,  Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, said it was time for laws to take its full effect, saying that “as it is now, they (ASUU members) are trying to force the government to implement the no work no pay rule.” He emphasised, “Government has warned Nigerians workers over time that if they don’t work they wont have pay.”

He said,  “I have pleaded with them, the Senate President had pleaded with them, the Speaker has pleaded with them, all well meaning Nigerians have pleaded with them, including the Chairman of House and Senate Committees. On top of it, Mr. President has granted us a concession of 40 per cent.

“The Vice President has also talked to them. There was agreement that they should go back to the round table to begin discussion, to work out the way out of this situation. They said the issue is not money but all about the agreement and we have been busy working on it one way or the other with the understanding that they will call off the strike while discussion continues. “


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