The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has directed its members nationwide to embark on an indefinite strike from Wednesday to demand the implementation of a four-year-old agreement with the Federal Government.
The union, until July 2014, had embarked on a nine-month strike and had suspended it following a promise from the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau who was newly appointed then, that he would resolve the matter within three months.
The President of ASUP, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, speaking with newsmen at the end of an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC), also called for the dissolution of the governing councils of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, in Anambra State and that of Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State for causing avoidable problems in their institutions.
Asomugha recalled that the union had issued a two-week ultimatum starting February 11. He called for the withdrawal of a circular issued by the Ministry of Education suspending the implementation of CONTISS 15.
Other grievances of the union 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, the non implementation of CONTISS 15 Migration for the Lower cadres and its arrears as from 2009 when the salary structure was approved and the non- establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission (NPC) and the wrongful continued recognition of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as the regulatory body for Polytechnics.
Others are non-constitution of Governing Councils for some Federal Polytechnics by the Federal Government, the snail-pace review of the Federal Polytechnics Act by the National Assembly and the gross underfunding of the Polytechnic sub sector and continued lopsidedness in the disbursements of TETfund grants and other interventions clearly designed to the disadvantage of the polytechnic sector.
“The non-commencement of the re-negotiation of the FGN/ASUP agreement as contained in the signed agreement, the worrisome state of most state owned polytechnics and the failure of some state governments to implement policies that would ensure standardisation of programmes and welfare of workers in the sector, the continued appointments of inappropriate persons as Rectors and Provost of Polytechnics, Monotechnics and College of Technologies by governments.
“The refusal of most state governments to implement the approved salary package (CONPCASS) and 65-year retirement age for their Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Technology, and also the refusal of government to carry out a comprehensive Needs Assessment of Nigeria’s public polytechnics and funding thereto”, the union added.