There are indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, may make some concessions in its requests from the government with around 72 hours left on the time restriction the Federal Government given the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee to finish negotiations with the union.
According to Vanguard’s investigation yesterday, this was in response to the progress made in the meetings between the committee and the union’s leadership.
Though the concessions may not include overlooking the demands that have financial implications, the union could give more time to the government to meet some demands.
A source told our correspondent that both parties still met on Saturday, as the deadline given the Briggs Committee to conclude its assignment would lapse mid-week.
He said: “Demands that have financial implications such as the payment of Earned Academic Allowance, Revitalisation Fund, the payment of withheld salaries are not negotiable. There are some areas we may shift grounds but until it is officially done, let us wait.
“Our children and wards are affected too by the strike. How much do we earn to send them abroad or to private universities here?
“We are not insensitive to the welfare of our students and the anxiety of parents. It is the government that is not getting its priorities right. Education is a vital sector that should not be left to rot,”he said.
When contacted, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the two parties had been meeting as scheduled.
“All I can say is that we are meeting and we are discussing and progress is being made. Whatever we arrive at we will make public. Whether their team has a time limit to do its job does not concern us. As a union, we are always ready to negotiate whenever they are ready too,” he said.