The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike form October 28, 2017 should the Nigerian government fail to give a positive response to its outstanding demands.
Issues ASUP want resolved include NEEDS Assessment for federal and state polytechnics at N652, 591, 478, 614 billion, Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Scale (CONTISS 15) N20billion and short fall in salaries as at December 2016 N2, 637, 161,000billion and earned academic allowance N3, 221,487,017billion;
Poor funding of public polytechnics as reflected in the unimplemented capital grants, withdrawals of allowances since 2016, shortfalls in personnel allocations as well as non funding of promotion exercises;
Dichotomy against HND holders, victimization of union officials, non release of check off dues, interference in union activities, non release of CONTISS 15 migration arrears, non release of visitation panel reports, delay in review of the Federal Polytechnics Act, non commencement of renegotiation of ASUP/FG agreement of 2010 and tardiness in appointment of rectors of federal polytechnics.
National President, Usman Dutse,disclosed that about 70 per cent of ASUP chapters voted for indefinite strike at just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Abia State Polytechnic.
He said the 14-day ultimatum issued the government took effect from October 9 to 28 (14 working days), adding that NEC expects the federal government to take action.
“Results of the referendum presented at NEC by the chapter chairmen indicated that majority voted for indefinite strike. We decided to give government another opportunity based on a letter from the ministry intervention committee”, he told Sun.
“For the federal government to allow the internal crisis at Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi and Kaduna Polytechnic to linger on for over three months is an indication of its contempt for polytechnic and technical education.
“NEC is worried about the situation and wants the issues resolved to allow for the reopening of the institutions”.
He explained that NEC also condemned the backlog of salaries owe its members in state polytechnics and asked what the state governors did with the two Paris refund money by the federal government.
“Our members in Oyo, Osun, Benue, Kogi, Abia, Edo and Bayelsa states are owed salaries between four to nine months.
“These state governors collected billions from two Paris Club refund recently, they ought to have used it to settle outstanding salaries of state workers.
“It is a shame that lectures in polytechnics are owed backlog of salaries. It is a reflection our commitment to polytechnic and technical education in the country.”
Dutse further revealed that NEC frowned at Ogun government’s plan to convert Moshood Abiola Polytechic (MAPOLY) to a university.
The ASUP boss said the governor should have established a new university rather than convert an existing polytechnic with over 16,000 students and about 1,500 staff.
“The purported establishment of new polytechnic at Ipokia was politically motivated”, he concluded.