The Joint Action Committee, JAC, of non-teaching staff unions of universities has announced the suspension of its three weeks old strike with effect from midnight of February 26.
At a meeting with the government on Thursday, the two parties agreed on all the eight-point demand of the Joint Action Committee of the unions leading to the signing of the MOA.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige described the deliberations as smooth, saying that all the rough edges in the former negotiation were straightened out.
“If you remember, this is about the fourth negotiation we are having on the matters brought by the Joint Action Committee of both unions, and today’s deliberation has been very fruitful.
“We have issued a conciliation document, a Memorandum of Action, and the two unions will get back to their members with the MOA. They have in good faith promised to revert to the government in the next 48 hours.
“So, we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communication with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us, more so when the government is desirous of the return of normal activities to the university system so that we can take the actions, one after the other,” the minister said.
Speaking through NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, the union said its demands have been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties, just as he stressed that they will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with timeline, to ensure that FG implement its own side of the bargain.
“We had 8 items which we negotiated and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike. Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.
“So we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonized has been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centers should be suspended with effect from midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.
“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in this struggles, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that has been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement his own side of the bargain.
“If the FG doesn’t, we have no reason to call our members to resume the suspended strike but for now, the strike is suspended with effect from midnight of tomorrow February 26.”
On the return of normalcy to the universities , Ngige said the government will follow up with the visitation panels which is one of the agreements reached with the unions .
He thanked the unions and the government team for responding to an emergency meeting convened within 24 hours which he said came out with very positive results.