The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has issued a one-month ultimatum to the Federal Government, to resolve issues that led to its industrial strike or face a review of the action.
This was disclosed by the ASUP’s National President, Anderson Uzeibe, while addressing journalists in Yola on Thursday, at the end of its 102nd National Executive Council meeting.
“Following exhaustive deliberation, the union’s National Executive Council has resolved to give the government a further one-month as an ultimatum to address the outstanding issues as listed or face a review of the suspended industrial action by our union,” he stated.
Earlier on April 6, 2021, ASUP had embarked on a nationwide strike to press home its demands, which included the poor state of public polytechnics and monotechnics, as well as the non-payment of 10 months arrears of the new minimum wage.
Following the progress made in its subsequent discussions with the Federal Government and upon reaching an agreement of performance with the FG, the union had suspended its 2-month-old industrial action on the 9th of June, 2021.
But in its statement on Thursday, the leadership of ASUP said its decision became expedient after the government’s failure to implement important aspects of the Memorandum of Action signed with the union nine months ago.
According to its president, the government was yet to release the sum of N15 billion, as first tranche of the agreed N800 billion revitalisation fund, despite being approved several months ago by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
Other issues being pressed for include: payment of outstanding arrears of minimum wage; release of reviewed normative instrument for institutions management and accreditation; compliance with the provisions of the Federal Polytechnic Act (as amended 2019), and non-delay of the appointment of rectors.
In a similar episode, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has remained resolute in its over one-month industrial action, over the FG’s failure to fulfill the negotiated 2019 Memorandum of Understanding.
Also, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, and the Non-Academic Staff Union have recently joined in the strike, further grounding academic activities in the public universities.
In retrospect, the unions have been culturally at loggerheads with the Federal Government, whom is often accused of being dishonest in constructive dialogue, with regards to the latter’s habitual disrespect for gentlemanly agreements.
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