Worried by the irregularities associated with the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has asked the Federal Government to address the problems and also meet other demands to avert industrial action.
Chairman of ASUP Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) chapter, Mr. Remi Ajiboye told newsmen after an extended exco meeting that members are not happy about the neglect of the polytechnic sector by the federal and state governments. He said the union is ready to take action to ensure its demands are met.
Ajiboye, flanked by his executives said following the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues in contention, the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of ASUP will meet soon to take a position, adding “our members are agitated about the unresolved demands.”
He said the Federal Government is owing lecturers in the polytechnic system ten months arrears on the new minimum wage and that the union has been at the issue since last year, adding ‘’in July we were promised payment and again our president was told it will be paid in December 2020, we are now in January.’’
Ajiboye said ASUP members have not been paid promotion arrears for 2018 and 2019 and revealed that only three polytechnics were paid.
“Another major issue threatening the polytechnic sector is the non composition of governing council. The situation has paralysed polytechnics in the country. Because of it, the 2020 promotion exercise has been put on hold. We are waiting for council to ratify the promotion exercise and address other issues.’’
The union leader decried the haphazard implementation of IPPIS, stating that staff in polytechnic system have not been receiving full salaries since the new payment platform was introduced, noting ‘’staff can’t say how much is their monthly salary. It is whatever one is paid, you take home. We have members that have not been captured. IPPIS officials keep promising they will address the issue. The story is different from institutions to institutions.’’
He confirmed that with the introduction of IPPIS, members go home with paltry salary every month and government officials are still battling to address the problem since last year.
The chairman explained that ASUP was the first union to reject IPPIS and demanded for a template for implementation which after their inputs, was not used, ‘’we are working on a new template for payment. Members have complained about the situation.’’
According to him, another problem with the implementation of IPPIS is the non payment of Corporative Society dues, arguing ‘’our members can’t take loan to settle family issues. This is worrisome to the union.’’
On NEEDS Assessment, Ajiboye explained that government has not released the N15billion for federal polytechnic to upgrade their facilities. He said the report was submitted in 2014 and the grant to develop polytechnic infrastructure are still hanging.
“Federal Government is owing Federal Polytechnics N15billion. Council of National Officers is meeting on the issue soon and after an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) will be summon to take a position.’’
Ajiboye described the National Housing Fund as a fraud, stressing ‘’we don’t know where our money is. We have filled forms for over two months and no action has been taken. Our members are worried about the NHF.’’
“Another issue affecting ASUP members is tax. It is high and whoever that is in charge should look at it. We have a situation where members pay between N50,000 to N70,000 every month as tax. This is a major concern and government must address the high tax.’’
He expressed concerned over the non approval of the new Scheme of Service for polytechnic staff and revealed that the issue have been lingering for over three years. He said that ASUP gave government 14-day ultimatum and that the only language government understand is strike.
Following the inability of government to implement the demands of ASUP, Ajiboye said members are ready for industrial action, ‘’we have waited for too long on the outstanding demands. There was emergency NEC meeting last year when branches were asked to vote, YABATECH congress and other polytechnics voted for strike.’’