Former VCs, university administrators proffer solutions to end six-month ASUU strike

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Worried by the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a group, tagged The Sustainable Peace Team, made up of former vice chancellors and university administrators have wadded into the face-off between the union and the Federal Government.

In a memo made available to Leakblast.com, the group said the deadlock in the crisis seems to be getting more disturbing with the government maintaining a strong stance of “no work, no pay” and ordering ASUU to go back to work.

The peace team also observed that ASUU has firmly prolonged the strike to become indefinite, and both sides are unwilling to proceed with further discussions with the government. It acknowledged that both parties welcome continued intervention by eminent independent persons and groups.

The peace plan signed by the Coordinator and former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Michael Faborode, said to break the deadlock, it recommended that government consider paying professors N800,000 as against N1.2million negotiated.

The peace team said it would liaise with the Prof Nimi Briggs renegotiation committee to know the basis of their proposals and consult with both the federal government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.

“Afterwards the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to an amicable end in the interest of all concerned and the nation.

“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace using the Prof Nimi Briggs committee recommendations as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort. A lot had been done already and such patriotic efforts should not be wasted nor despised, ‘’ he noted.

Prof. Faborode said the peace team would engage the renegotiation committee and that the chairman (Prof. Briggs) feels the outstanding issues are not insurmountable.

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“These include FGN raising its offer of salary increase from 23% to maybe 50% that will ensure a Professor receives up to N800k monthly as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.

“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during the strike to a mid-position, not 0% nor 100% as ASUU wants. How can we further this admonition to both sides?’’

The coordinator of the peace team stressed that the federal government should be worried it entered into agreements that cannot be implemented and that the action diminishes faith and trust in governance.

The group said ASUU should also accept that something is fundamentally wrong when every one of its negotiations after prolonged strikes produces agreements that cannot be fully implemented.

“Both sides should accept blame for the series of imperfect Agreements over the years and prevent a repeat this time around. An Agreement that is non-implementable cannot stand by that name.”

The peace team suggested the National Assembly be involved after every negotiation to ensure areas that require legislative approval are included in the process.

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