Federal government, lecturers meet to resolve national strike

Helen Shok Jok, Abuja.

Labour minister, Dr. Chris Ngige
The Minister of Labour is holding a conciliatory meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ministry of Education, National Salaries as well as Incomes and Wages Commission on Wednesday.
The Nigerian government is appealing to university lecturers to suspend the industrial action.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to rescind its decision on a nationwide seven days warning strike, so as to give the present administration an opportunity to discuss all the contending issues arising from the Collective Bargaining Agreement  it reached with the immediate past administration.
 
A statement by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment says “the claims of nationwide consultations by ASUU cannot be true as the Ministry of Labour and Employment which is the chief conciliator of industrial related disputes is yet to receive a direct petition from ASUU against the Federal Government who is the jurisdictional employer.”
 
The Minister emphasized the need for what he called a proper re-negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which ASUU reached with the previous administration through a clear channel of social dialogue, starting with its immediate employer, the Ministry of Education, and next, the Labour Ministry. 
 
According to the statement signed by the Deputy Director Press, Mr Samuel Olowokere, it explained that in view of the prevailing circumstances, a warning strike by ASUU was unconstitutional as the body was yet to exhaust the conflict resolution mechanisms  mapped out in labour laws.
 
The Minister appealed to ASUU to give the present administration the opportunity to fully address its grievances.

ASUU had on Monday issued  a notice, to begin a seven day  industrial action on Wednesday, to drive home its demands that Government should honour the collective agreement it signed with it.