The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) will today , Monday begin a one-week warning strike to protest the government’s refusal to honour its agreement with the union and fund the polytechnic sector. ASUP National President Comrade Usman Dutse said the union’s one month ultimatum to the government expired in December 2016 without any visible sign of the government willingness to meet the demands of the union, leaving them wig no choice than to embark on a warning strike.
Dutse said in a statement after an emergency National Executive Council meeting of the union in Abuja that the union had earlier given the government an ultimatum in July 2016, but decide to stay action on their proposed strike because of appeal from the government and renewed the ultimatum in November, 2016. He said despite the magnanimity of the union, the government failed to address the issues raised by the union, which include the non implementation of the NEEDS assessment reports, poor funding of public polytechnics, deliberate attempt to frustrate the resolution of the meeting of the council on establishment in July 2016 and victimisation of union members as well as interference in union activities.
Other issues include Jon release of CONTISS 15 migration arrears, non release of visitation panel reports of federal polytechnic a as well as non release of ministerial panel to federal polytechnic a in Auchi, Oko, Yaba and Ado Ekiti, delay in the review of the federal polytechnic act, non commencement of renegotiation of ASUP/government agreement of 2010 and government’s tardiness in the appointment of Rectors of Federal a polytechnics. He said that there was no attempt by the government to improve the funding of public polytechnics in the country as the 2017 budget currently before the National Assembly does not have any provision to that effect.
He said further that there were attempts to frustrate the decision taken at the National Council on Establishment held in Minna in 2016 directing the removal of the age long entry level dichotomy against HND holders, while no further step has been taken on the issue. He also accused the government of not showing any interest in amending the Federal Polytechnic Act, adding that the bill amending the act currently before the National Assembly was the effort of a private member.