By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
The various branch congresses of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) have endorsed the nationwide industrial action scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, to force the federal government to address their demands.
The four zonal coordinators and branch chairmen told our correspondent that the over 92 branches have mobilised their members in state and federal polytechnics ahead of the national strike.
Aside backing the indefinite national strike, the branch executives have informed their various polytechnic management of the impending industrial action and also constituted a strike monitoring team to ensure full compliance.
The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of ASUP had fixed Tuesday, April 6, for the strike following the inability of government to meet the union’s nine demands.
Daily Sun gathered that reports from the various branch congresses indicate overwhelming approval for the forthcoming nationwide strike.
ASUP Zone A Coordinator Dr Kasim Ibrahim said the 30 branches are fully prepared and mobilised for the indefinite strike. He disclosed that all the branches at NEC meeting signed for the industrial action.
Dr Ibrahim explained that many of the branches held their congress this week and endorsed the indefinite strike.
The Zone B Coordinator, Abdullahi Yalwa, said the 25 branches in the zone are good to go with the agreed strike, stating: ‘We are prepared to down tool. Congresses held and approved the industrial action.”
ASUP Zone D Coordinator Precious Nwakodo told our correspondent that of the 22 branches, 11 have held congresses and that by Thursday the remaining would have concluded, noting that ‘we have mobilised members and we have informed security operatives about the impending.’
The Coordinator of ASUP Zone C, Mr Nureni Yekini, said the 24 branch chairmen have informed him that members are ready for the strike, stating that many have done their congress and notified management about the forthcoming strike.’
The zonal coordinator explained that lecturers in the polytechnic system are not happy with the way the government is handling their demands and thus appealed to their students as well as parents to understand their plight.
ASUP President Mr Anderson Ezeibe observed that the strike is meant to draw the attention of government to the nine demands of the union. He said the demands include the release of 10 months in arrears of the new minimum wage owed its members in federal polytechnics and the implementation of same in the several states yet to implement the new minimum wage.
Others are implementation of the Needs Assessment Report of 2014 in public polytechnics; reconstitute governing councils in federal polytechnics and in state-owned polytechnics, release owed staff salaries in Abia, Ogun, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Edo, and Cross River states and implement full salary payments in Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa states; release of promotion arrears in federal polytechnics and payment of same as well as annual increments in Adamawa, Plateau and other states with similar cases.