The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics is to resume its suspended strike on Friday following the inability of the Federal Government to resolve outstanding issues with the union.
ASUP Chairman, Mr. Clement Chairman, told newsmen in Jos on Sunday that “the frustrating inertia of the Federal Government to convincingly fulfill any of the promises and agreements reached with the union before the suspension of the earlier strike on July 172013 shows that government is not serious.”
Chirman said the National Executive Council after its 75th meeting held at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, resolved that the strike would “be total and indefinite” until the government showed committed to honouring the agreement with the union.
He expressed dismay at government penchant for breaking agreements, adding that “since the union suspended its earlier strike in July, government has shown no commitment to fulfilling any of the promises it made to the union.”
The union in its communiqué after the meeting in Bida decried “the anti-labour stance of the National Assembly as exemplified by the recently proposed removal of minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list of the constitution to the concurrent list, as well as the proposed legislation against declaration of industrial strike by unions in the tertiary sector.”
ASUP also lamented government’s abuse of the laws establishing TETfund. And the culpable lack of commitment of the National Board for Technical Education to meeting the needs and demands of polytechnic education in Nigeria.
“The CONTISS 15 Migration for Lower cadres, Needs Assessment of Polytechnics, release of whitepaper of visitation to Federal polytechnics, discrimination between polytechnics and university graduates in job placement and career progression and the constitution of Governing Councils to Federal polytechnics earlier omitted, were among the issues we brought before the Federal Government in the last negotiation, but government has failed to address any of them since after we suspended strike in July”, Chairman lamented.
The communique said:
1. That Government should without delay address all the outstanding standing issues including the NEEDS Assessments of the polytechnics and the corresponding funding, constitution of the Governing Councils of the remaining Federal polytechnics, CONITSS 15 Migration of the Lower Cadres, the removal of disparity between HND and Degree certificates, establishment of the National Polytechnics Commission (NPC), release of the Whitepaper of the visitation panels to polytechnics;
2. That the National Assembly should rescind from its current anti-labour posture in the interest of industrial peace and our desperate move to rescue the endangered soul of the tertiary institutions in the country;
3. That the National Assembly should expedite action on the review of the Polytechnic Act;
4. That a vote of no confidence be passed the NBTE and further calls for the immediate establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission (NPC) to proactively cater for the needs of the sector;
5. That the Nigerian political class and other interest groups should exercise restraint on their utterances and activities in the interest of peace, unity and security of the nation;
6. That the Federal Government should desist from abuse of TETfund laws;
7. That stakeholders in the education sector such as parents, students, religious leaders, the press, members of States and National assemblies to rise to their responsibilities of rescuing the (polytechnic) education sector from imminent collapse;
8. That the position of ASUP on the need to appoint the rectors from within the polytechnic system remains irreversible;
9. That in view of the continued insincerity of Government to honour the agreement reached with ASUP, NEC resolves that the union will resume the suspended strike with effect from 4th October, 2013.
NEC sincerely appreciates the good people of Nigeria and all other stakeholders in the education sector for their sustained support in its struggles to save the polytechnic education from total collapse in Nigeria.