FG, ASUP Leaders Disagree on Payment of Arrears:
The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics on Tuesday disagreed over the circumstances surrounding the ongoing strike of the union.
They also failed to reach a compromise on the modalities for the payment of the N20.4bn arrears of the new salary structure to the striking public polytechnic lecturers.
At a closed door session between the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the union, the Federal Government offered to pay the arrears in two installments.
A source at the meeting said the condition did not go down well with the union which protested that the government should pay the long overdue money at once.
Our correspondent learnt that Wike at the meeting said the first installment would be paid in March while the second installment would be paid in September.
“The union protested that government was only taking it for granted. It asked government to respect the negotiation and show more commitment.
“Although the union showed signs of dissatisfaction, it however promised to take the message to its National Executive Council meeting for deliberations,” the source said.
Another source told our correspondent that the minister refused to discuss other issues on the demands of the union.
“He said the issues could not be raised since they were not shortlisted among the four demands open to negotiation by the parties,” he said.