James Ojo, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), has reminded the Federal Government of the 21-day ultimatum issued on October 2, 2018, to address issues which led to the 2017 dispute or, be ready for total shutdown of polytechnics across the country.
Comrade Usman Dutse, who said this in a last warning statement, also asked government to call the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to order, because of its activities which the union noted was fueling the crises in the sector.
The union accused NBTE of betrayal on the negotiation to get members listed into the IPPIS by the the NBTE.
“Our union has been on the discussion table with officials of the IPPIS, as well as the NBTE on modalities for a smooth and safe enrolment of members into the IPPIS platform.
“The last meeting, which took place in March 2018, was postponed to enable the renegotiation committee conclude its assignment, and provide the needed security in the capture of the totality of members’ emoluments,” the president noted.
The union regretted and alleged that the NBTE had kick-started new arm-twisting regime by convening a meeting with the IPPIS and the managements of polytechnics, without the unions, “where they resolved to force our members into the platform.
“It is on record that the other legs of the tripod in the tertiary division of the nation’s education landscape are not facing such level of intimidation. This has strengthened our position that the future of polytechnics in the country, indeed, lies outside the regulations of the NBTE,” ASUP said.
The union also accused government of not satisfactorily implementing the terms of the memorandum agreed upon, which led to the call off of the nationwide strike in 2017.
“Up till the moment the fresh ultimatum was issued, ASUP insisted that the NEEDS assessment report of 2014 remained unimplemented, while the government’s excuse of “searching for sources of funding” is increasingly becoming watery, in the face of reports of recent releases to a sister sector, as revitalisation fund, amplifying the echoes of discrimination.
“A shortfall in personnel releases still persists in some federal polytechnics, while arrears of same shortfalls are still owed; allowances of our members are still owed in arrears and unpaid in many institutions without any effort at properly situating the responsibility of paying these negotiated allowances.
“Salaries are still owed in many state-owned institutions, with some owed up to 10 months arrears. Deductions of check-off dues, pension, and welfare benefits of members are also unremitted in some state institutions. Arrears of CONTISS 15 migration are still owed for the lower cadre with the government appearing rudderless on the issue.
“The amendment bill of the Polytechnics Act is yet to be signed into law.
Our officers are still being victimised with new grounds of tyranny being broken in reports of purported proscriptions of our union in some states,” Dutse said in the statement, on Sunday.