Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Hope of ending the strike embarked upon by the Academics Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) soon dimmed on Friday as the Union declared the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government honours all the agreements it entered into with ASUP since 2010.
The National Vice President of ASUP, Zone C,Timothy Ogunseye, gave the declaration while addressing journalists at the ASUP Secretariat of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta chapter of the union.
Ogunseye, flanked by the Zone C Coordinator, Messrs Olawale Omobaorun, stated that FG had reached three different agreements with the Union, but had failed to honour them.
He listed 2010 FGN/ASUP agreement, 2014 Memorandum of Settlement and 2017 Memorandum of Action, noting that last week’s meeting with the FG was deadlocked, maintaining the strike would not be called off until the FG meets their demands.
Ogunseye, disclosed further that non implementation of the NEEDS assessment report of 2014, which remained one of the key issues that led to the protracted 2013/2014 strike, was yet to be implemented.
He also said many states of the federation owed ASUP members 14 months wages, saying such action was vivid in Abia, Edo, Kogi, Imo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Benue and Oyo states, pointing out that in Rivers and Delta states, statutory deductions, including contributory pension and union check up dues were not remitted.
He said, “The essential components of these agreements cover working conditions of members of our union, review of obsolete legal regimes and other policy documents which serve as governing instruments in the sector, non existence/ deplorable state of the existing facilities, including classrooms, libraries, students’ hostels, laboratories, workshops, studios and office accommodation etc.
“Others include discriminatory policies against the sector and its products, victimisation of union leaders and non payment of members salaries. In several states”.
Also speaking, Omoobaorun, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Polytechnic Act, saying the Act would help in solving many of the challenges facing the union.
He also appealed to stakeholders in the education sector, to intervene in what he described as play of politics and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) conspiracy against MAPOLY, saying the status of his members on employment, is unknown.
He, however, demanded unbundling and replacement of the NBTE with a National Polytechnic Commission (NPC), submitting “NBTE has shown seeming incapacity to decisively address deluge of challenges confronting polytechnics in Nigeria”.