Polytechnic lecturers begin indefinite strike Tuesday

THE academic staffers in all the public polytechnics in the country will begin indefinite strike, February 25, 2015.

The National President of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Chibuzor Asomuga, who disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend said the decision follows the expiration of a two-week strike notice which was issued to government on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015.

   Asomuga explained the decision to embark on another round of strike was informed by the refusal of the Federal Government to honour the agreement reached with the union on the implementation of a 13-point demands placed before government. 

   He added: “That at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum our Union has issued to Government beginning from 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.”

    While decrying the high-handedness of the governing councils of the Federal Polytechnic Oko and Ado Ekiti, Asomuga called for their immediate dissolution to pave way for harmonious work environment in the two institutions.

“That 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,” he stated.

    He warned managements and councils of polytechnics in the country to desist from interfering in ASUP activities in their Institutions and halt forthwith the intimidation of staff who insist that proper things be done.

The ASUP Chief also faulted the decision of the Ministry of Education to issue a circular withdrawing the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration with immediate effect saying, it was in bad taste that will further create tension in the polytechnics.

   While justifying the strike action, Asomuga declared that ASUP was pushed into taking the decision, adding, “this is the situation we have found ourselves today. Let me say that it is a firm belief of our union that the place of technical education has become a key driver of every sustainable growth and development. It is also our keen observation that more countries of the world are developing the technical sector in order to achieve technological growth and discoveries. That is why throughout the world, and in particular the progressive economies of sub-Saharan Africa, governments are renewing efforts to promote technical education and training with the sole belief that skill formation enhances productivity and sustains competitiveness in the global economy.”

He further explained that most of the 13-point demand portfolio before Government for negotiation and subsequent implementation are mostly carryover from the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and the union.

  He claimed that the failure of government to attend to the demands led to series of strike actions embarked upon between 2013 and 2014.

 He listed the disputed issues to include: the continued discrimination against Polytechnic graduates in public service and in the labour market in Nigeria; the non-release of the White Paper on the Visitation to Federal Polytechnics among others.



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