The ASUU strike in 2013 continues, but the latest news is that the union’s meeting on whether to call the strike off or not has been moved up to today, December 16, from Wednesday.
Union leadership and the presidency finally signed an agreement last week to end the strike. But the union leadership says that the National Executive Committee of the union has to look over the agreement before it’s made final.
It’s the latest in a long series of back-and-forth from the union and the federal government, as the strike has been going on since July, crippling Nigeria’s education sector.
The union’s refusal to back down appeared to finally wear down the government, which accepted several conditions it previously refused to meet. The biggest may be the back-pay for the striking teachers. The teachers would get paid for the time they were on strike, even though they weren’t teaching.
Another big condition was to put forward N200 billion as a sort of pre-contract payment for improving infrastructure at universities across the country. While the money isn’t being used right away, the move was seen as good faith and a measure of whether union leadership could trust President Goodluck Jonathan and his team.
Monday’s meeting is being held at the Federal University of Technology in Minna, reported the Nation.
Similar to the last several meetings of the union, the details haven’t been made public, but leaked to several media outlets.
The union could decide to call off the strike as early as tonight but have also given themselves a week from the date of the signing, December 11.
“We promised Nigerians that we will communicate our decision within a week,” said professor Ike Odimegwu, chairman of the union’s chapter at Nnamdi Azikwe University.
“What that means is, there is still ample time to do so until 6 p.m. of next Wednesday. The people should not be agitated. On our part, we are ready to effect our side of the deal so no cause for alarm.”