FG denies collective bargaining agreement with ASUU

  • The minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige says there is no collective bargaining agreement between ASUU and the federal government
  • Chris Ngige said if ever there was an agreement, President Muhammadu Buhari is not in the position to sign it
  • He said what was tabled before the federal government was a proposal and not an agreement

The ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike officially clocks five months on Thursday, July 14.

ASUU had embarked on strike since February, 14 when negotiations of the 2009 agreement between the union and the federal government broke down.

Dr Chris Ngige, ASUU, FG
Minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige has debunked claims that ASUU and the federal government had a collective bargaining agreement. Photo. PMNews
Source: UGC

Meanwhile, the minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige in a recent statement says President Muhammadu Buhari is not in the position to sign any collective bargain agreement between the union and the federal government if ever there is one.

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According to a report by AIT News, Ngige stated that there is no collective bargaining agreement between ASUU and the federal government awaiting the approval of the president.

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The Minister in a statement signed by deputy director press, Olajide Oshundun said the clarification has become necessary in view of the deluge of deliberate misinformation being dished out to Nigerians by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, as well as his branch leaders, calling on President Buhari to sign an agreement which they claimed to have reached with the Federal Government.

As contained in the statement, Ngige stated that there was never a collective bargaining agreement rather what is on the plate is a proposal.

He said it is pertinent to note that Professor Nimi Briggs Committee on re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement, just like the Professor Munzali Committee it replaced, is an internal committee of the Ministry of Education to receive ASUU demands and renegotiate areas of the Agreement, while also receiving briefs from the MDAs, that act as advisers, before making any counter offer to ASUU and other unions.

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He said unfortunately, ASUU insisted that these relevant advisory MDAs recuse themselves from the sitting of the Briggs Committee, accusing them of non-cooperation.

The Minister noted that, all alone with the Professor Briggs Committee, ASUU started fixing their salaries and allowances to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies that manage the entire annual finances of government, budget and fiscal policies, and the Office of the Head of Civil Service that is in charge of ensuring that public service rules and regulations are not undermined in any condition of service offered to public officers in the universities.

Ngige noted that with the Professor Briggs committee Proposal of 109 -185% increase in the university wage structure, the Federal Government will incur an additional N560b as salaries alone, on top of the present N412b, less all other allowances such as Earned Academic Allowances and fringe benefits, Teaching Allowance, field trip, responsibility and post-graduate supervision allowances, hazard allowances, which were to gulp another N170bn.

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In all, the sum of N1.12 Trillion will be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system and at present, the wage bill of the university staff and their colleagues in Teaching Health Systems gulp nearly 50% of the total federal government staff personnel cost/wages.

The Minister recalled too that the staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have also placed their wage review on the front burner since two months ago, just like the medical doctors and the joint health sector unions.

Ngige added that currently, the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages has finished the review of the Professor Nimi Briggs proposal and will shortly submit same to the President, which will clear every doubt that there is an agreement before the President waiting for his signature.

Source: Legit.ng

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