The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has declared that it would begin an indefinite strike from Wednesday, 12th December. This is as the strike by university lecturers clocked a month today.
In a phone interview with EduCeleb.com on Tuesday, the National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse said that this had become imminent because the Federal Government had failed to meet the demands of the polytechnic lecturers.
Prior to this impending strike, the union had on 2nd October issued a 21 day ultimatum to the government before it extended it to November but did not eventually go strike.
But Mr Dutse said that the proposed strike later this December would be total and indefinite. This further emphasises the resolution of the 93rd National Executive Council meeting reached at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos last week.
“Government has failed to implement and fulfil agreements it reached with the union as contained in the memorandum of understanding signed,” he said.
EduCeleb.com recalls that after ASUP last went on strike in November 2017, the Federal government had reached an agreement to implement the recommendations of the 2014 NEEDS assessment for the strike to be suspended fifteen days after.
The agreement particularly highlighted the need for increased funding of polytechnics.
Dutse, however, gave other reasons too bordering on the roles of state governments and the National Assembly.
“The issue of the funding of the institutions has always been a major concern. After government conducted the NEEDS assessment in 2014, it promised to implement it. Years after, there is no designed roadmap to implement that.”
“The institutions are not funded. The states are even worse because state governments just establish schools without actually funding those schools. So, no infrastructure is in place,” he added.
He said that the bill meant to review the act on the establishment of polytechnics in the country was yet to be passed by the National Assembly, hoping that the strike would also help fast track its passage.
The ASUP president also alleged that some state governments were owing salaries for up to 14 months just as institutions victimise union leaders who voice out against what he termed injustice.
“We have states that are owing about 14 month salaries. Some owe eight months,” he said.
He gave instances of Abia, Benue, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Kogi as states owing up to as long as 14 months.
As for institutions where members were being victimised, he mentioned Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwuashi Uku; Osun State Polytechnic, Iree; and Adamawa State Polytechnic, Numan as instances.
Dutse also hoped that the strike would make government look into improving the condition of service and the payment of additional allowances government owed polytechnic lecturers.