Polytechnic lecturers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), have said following the expiration of two weeks’ notice given to the federal government, the union will embark on an indefinite strike action on February 25th, 2015.
Polytechnic lecturers had on February 11 issued a two weeks ultimatum urging the federal government to immediately implement the agreement it reached with the union, which led to the suspension of its strike last July.
Addressing journalists in Abuja at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union on Saturday, national president of ASUP, Comrade Chibuzor Asomuga, expressed disappointment over government’s failure to implement the agreement it reached with the union.
Asomuga recalled that in July 2014, ASUP suspended its strike on the plea of the Hon. Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who just assumed office as minister then. He said the minister had requested for a three month moratorium to enable him tackle the lingering problems.
“Unfortunately and sadly too, since the suspension of that strike and despite our strong reminders to government on the pending issues and repeated assurances from the minister, none of the issues has been addressed to a logical conclusion”, he said.
“In a strange twist, rather, and without recourse to the content and spirit of the understanding on which the union suspended the strike, the Federal Ministry of Education on the 26th of January 2015, under the guise of a proposed verification exercise, issued a circular directing the suspension of the CONTISS 15 Salary Structure which implementation dates back to 2009, thereby, creating further confusion in the sector.
“This development is provocative, ill timed, retrogressive, and is a flagrant breach of the trust and character of the agreement that led to the suspension of the strike in July, 2014. We are lost as to the real intent and objective of the Federal Ministry of Education in stirring the hornet’s nest at a time when our nation is in the throes of a challenging transition”.
Asomuga said the union had therefore resolved that at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum, which it issued to Government on 11th February, 2015 on the pending issues, “ASUP shall embark on an indefinite strike action until all the ongoing anomalies in our Polytechnics are addressed and the 13 point demand pending before Government implemented”.
Other resolutions reached at the end of the NEC meeting include: “The Federal Government should, without further delay dissolve the Governing Councils of the Federal polytechnics Oko and Ado Ekiti as they have become burdens rather than solutions to the myriad of problems bedeviling the sector.
“That the circular issued by the Ministry of Education suspending the implementation CONTISS 15 Migration be withdrawn with immediate effect as the suspension is ill-timed and counterproductive and will create further tension in the sector.
“That Managements and Councils of Polytechnics in Nigeria must desist from interfering in ASUP activities in their Institutions and stop forthwith the intimidation of staff who insist that proper things be done”.