The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has announced its decision to embark on an indefinite strike with effect from Monday, November 13, 2017. The decision was the outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of ASUP which held on Saturday at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State.
According to them, the industrial action follows the failure of the Federal Government to implement all the agreements it entered with the union since 2016. The union lamented that despite the long period given to the government to address some of the issues it had raised, government did not consider it necessary to address the demands for improved funding of polytechnic education in the country.
ASUP President, Usman Dutse, and Zone A Coordinator, Kabiru Yunusa, briefed journalists shortly after the emergency meeting which lasted for several hours saying that the union had given government sufficient time to implement all agreements, said they had no choice than to embark on an indefinite strike after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued earlier.
According to him, some of the demands include non-implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report and shortfalls in personnel releases and withdrawal of allowances. Others are non-
passage of the amended bill of the Polytechnic Act, infractions in the appointment of rectors, as well as improving the conditions of state-owned institutions among other issues. “The tepid response of government to the nine items identified as having debilitating effects on the health of the sector led the union into declaring one week strike in February 2017. The strike, which recorded a very impressive compliance level, had immediate gains in the reconstruction of the governing councils of all Federal Polytechnics, as well as the constitution, inauguration, and commencement of the renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government. Comrades, the 89th meeting of NEC of our union issued a 21-day ultimatum effective October 9, 2017 to the government (after collation of results of referendum from chapters) to address these issues satisfactorily".
“On October 24, a reconciliation meeting was convened by the Federal Ministry of Labour in Abuja. The ministry in the eye of the storm, the Federal Ministry of Education, was poorly represented that no memorandum of action was agreed on. This clearly shows the level of disdain and disrespect with which the issues of the sector are being handled by the relevant agencies. In view of the above, our union resolved in its emergency meeting of NEC on October 31, 2017 to commence an indefinite and comprehensive strike effective from November 13, 2017,” he added.