From: Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government after which it plans to embark on an indefinite strike.
The ultimatum takes effect from October 9.
This formed part of the decisions reached at the 89th National Executive Council meeting of the union held at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State, from October 2nd to 6th.
ASUP, in a letter dated October 9, 2017, to Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, accused the Fedweral Government of failing to address its demands six weeks after promising at a meeting held August 22, 2017 to attend to them within one month.
The letter signed by ASUP President, Dutse Usman which was also copied to the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education and the Chairman, Federal Government/ASUP 2010 Renegotiation Council, regretted that six weeks after the assurances from the minister, no positive action had been taken by government in that regard.
Some of the contentious issues included non-implementation of the report of the NEEDS Assessment, sustained shortfalls in personnel releases and withdrawal of allowances since December, 2015, non-payment of staff salaries in some state owned institutions and non-release of CONTISS 15 migration arrears among others.
On infractions in the appointment process of rectors, the poly teachers said despite ministerial directive that the template prepared by the ministry be strictly adhered to in the appointment process, some polytechnics, notably, Federal Polytechnics Bauchi, Oko and the Kaduna Polytechnic had brazenly violated the template in different dimensions with the active connivance of representatives of the ministry and the regulatory body in the governing councils of the affected institutions.
The situation, they said was even worse in state owned institutions with different levels of unimaginable violations taking place in the appointment process.
“It is the hope of our union that government should seize the opportunity provided by the 21 days window to resolve the issues and avert the ugly consequence of avoidable disruption in academic calendar across Nigerian polytechnics and monotechnics,” ASUP stated.
The Union also threatened to withdraw from the Federal Government/ASUP renegotiation committee since there had not been any implementable time lines from the committee.