… Minister to meet union leaders
• TASUED exam disrupted
By Gabriel Dike and Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has insisted members will down tool by 12 noon today, to press home implementation of their demands.
ASUP General Secretary, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe told Daily Sun that lecturers have been mobilised for the one week warning strike and stressed that, “by 12 noon today, we will withdraw our services, both academic and administrative jobs.’’
He said no polytechnic is exempted from the strike but noted that individual institutions should address challenges before joining the industrial action.
Ezeib said the union issued the first ultimatum on July 20, 2016 and another notification on November 14, 2016.
The ASUP scribe confirmed that Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu invited the union leadership to a meeting by 12 noon today but warned that unless the issues in contention are addressed, the one week warning strike will go ahead as scheduled.
Ezeibe said after the National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja, the union served the Ministry of Education the strike notice last Thursday and they wrote on Friday inviting the leadership to a meeting today.
ASUP Chairman in Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Mr. Tunji Owoye said his members will comply with the NEC directive and added that the congress of the union is scheduled for today.
He said management of the institution will be informed of the industrial action after the congress.
National Coordinator of ASUP in the South-South and South-East geo-political zones, Dr. Chika Ogonwa said in Asaba, yesterday, that the union might be forced to shut the polytechnic system if the government remained adamant to their demands.
Part of the demands, according to Ogonwa, was the need to review the Polytechnic Act which at present, prescribes National Diploma (ND) for middle level manpower, and explained that the nation’s economy is comatose because the players are half-baked.
In a flyer which Ogonwa made available to Daily Sun in Asaba, the union during its 86th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in August 2016 shifted the strike to January 2017, to give government sufficient time to resolve the contentious issues.
In a related development, lecturers at the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) branch, Ijagun, Ogun State have embarked on an indefinite strike to protest non-implementation of their demands by the state government.
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), TASUED branch, it was gathered, downed tools after a Congress resolution to embark on strike, in order to force the government to accede to their demands.
To this end, academic, admission and research activities in the state-owned university were grounded, including the on going first semester examination.
Chairman of ASUU in the institution, Dr. Bayo Akinsanya told Daily Sun that the issues in contention are not new demands.
“We have been agitation for these issues for sometime. The university administration is aware of the strike. It is the responsibility of our governing council to talk to the state government on our demands. Our students were writing examinations when we started the strike. The first semester examinations for the 2016/2017 academic session were disrupted.
“In fact, our students were to write a paper on Thursday, so the whole thing was aborted. The strike started on January 26. Since we started the strike, we have not been invited for any discussion. Throughout the duration of the strike, our members will not be involved in any academic activities.’’
The union in the statement disclosed that the issues in contention are non-payment of pension since 2007, withholding of 12 months deduction to staff cooperatives, non-payment of promotion arrears to academic staff, non-payment of earned academic allowance and the government’s insensitivity to funding of the institution.