By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA– THE non teaching staff of universities who have been on strike since December 2017 are seated at Conference hall of the Federal Ministry of Education for a closed-door meeting with the Federal Government.
The meeting which is on the instance of the Federal Government negotiation team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige is expected to deliberate on the “no work, no pay” policy being contemplated by the government against the striking workers.
But the three unions have said they will not be threatened and have accused the government of being responsible for the prolonged strike.
Although the meeting was slated for 11am, as at 12:30pm the union members were agitating to storm out of the Conference hall because neither the two Ministers of labour nor their counterparts in the ministry of education are present, a staff of the labour ministry pleaded with the union leaders that the meeting has been shifted to 1pm.
The non teaching staff under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions, NASU, National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, have accused the Federal Government of breaching the agreement the two parties entered into in September 2017 that led to the suspension of the strike the unions embarked on.
However, as at the time of filing this report, Permanent Secretaries in the two ministries are seated waiting for the leader of the government negotiation team, Senator Chris Ngige.
Present at the meeting are the Chairman of JAC and National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, the National President of NASU, Chris Ani, the NAAT President, Suleiman Sani, the General Secretary of NASU, Peter Adeyemi as well as other executive members of the three unions.