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ASUP Polytechnic staff threaten strike

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) said they will soon embark on a strike action over government insensitivity to their earlier demands which are still unresolved.

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ASUP threatens strike

(today)

National President of ASUP, comrade Usman Yusuf Dutse told journalists in Abuja on Thursday, April 28 2016 that all efforts for the union to explain the situations they are facing to attract redress has failed.

He said the union is left with no other option than to embark on strike.

Dutse said Polytechnic lecturers ordinary believe in dialogue, which is why the issues have been lingering for all this while.

"However, we are now being pushed to resort to extreme measures in resolving industrial dispute and we shall act accordingly. We have decided to place this position before Government and the Nigerian public for the benefit of the sector and to challenge government to act now in order to avert another industrial disharmony in our polytechnics."

"We are aware that the issues between Government and ASUP have lingered for years. We are also cognisant of the fact that this government came to power about one year ago but then Government is a continuum. What is particularly worrisome to our union is the approach of officials of Government to the need of our sector and the pre-eminence of dialogue in resolving the impasse.”

In September, 2015 we had addressed a press conference, drawing attention of the then incoming government to these issues and proposed ways of resolving them. Our expectation was that the re-constitution of the Federal Executive Council by Mr. President will nip the issues in the bud considering the quality of the appointees and the magnitude of the problems at hand. Our hope in this direction is gradually fading away as no concrete step has been taken to address the issues," He said.

According to him, “The last signed agreement between the Federal Government and ASUP made adequate provisions for re-negotiation which had been due since 2012. Government has reneged on this provision and showed unwillingness to renegotiate a new Agreement with the union. This attitude has further widened our gap of trust and entrenched mutual suspicion about government’s commitment to promoting technological development in the country," ASUP President added.

According to Dutse, other issues include failure to release white paper of visitation panels to federal polytechnics; non-implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadres and other academic allowances; underfunding of the sector and lop-sidedness in funds interventions by TETFUND.

He also explained  that the non- implementation of the report of the  NEEDS assessment of public polytechnics as well as dichotomy between HND and degree graduates poses grave risk to maintaining industrial peace in the sector.

 "In 2014, after intense agitation by our union, government constituted the Needs Assessment Committee that undertook the critical assessment of needs of infrastructure and administrative competence of all public polytechnics in Nigeria. The intention was to address the decay of infrastructure in the sector. It is appallingly disheartening however that government has, since the conclusion of that brilliant assignment, reneged on the release and subsequent implementation of its own report despite repeated appeals by our union," he added.

Dutse said the dichotomy between the university and Polytechnic graduates places needless limitations on HND graduates in job engagements and remunerations as well as career progression in public service.

"Our graduates are humiliated and made to rue the career path they chose through polytechnic education.  They are rated far below their degree-holder counterparts and valued according to the name of their institutions and not according to capacity. The Bill seeking to end this Dichotomy could not pass through the 7th Assembly despite its urgency and importance and the polytechnic sector is still the worse off for this tardiness."

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