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Poly lecturers threaten nationwide strike

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  • FG, ASUU talks fail

BARRING last minute fence mending, an imminent showdown looms between the Federal Government and polytechnic lecturers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) which has declared their intention to begin a nationwide indefinite strike from Wednesday, December 12.

Speaking after their 93rd National Executive Council Meeting at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse said the imminent strike became necessary because the Federal Government failed to meet with demands of lecturers of polytechnics, adding that there is no going back since the expiration of the union’s 21-day ultimatum on October 2.

“Government has failed to implement and fulfill agreements it has reached with the union and contained in the Memorandum of Understanding signed. The issue of funding of the institutions has always been a major concern. Government over the years has always been breaking their promises.

There are other reasons bothering on the roles of State Government and the National Assembly. The institutions are not funded. The states are even worse because state governments just establish schools without actually funding those schools, so we don’t have infrastructure in place to aid learning. The strike we embarked upon was to make sure there was a review of the Act on the establishment of polytechnics in the country,” Dutse said.

According to him, some state governments owe salary backlogs to their workers up to 14 months, while institutions victimise union leaders who speak out.

“We hoped that the strike would make the government look into improving the condition of service and the payment of additional allowances government owed polytechnics lecturers,” he added.

Similarly, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has been on industrial action for three weeks to protest poor funding of federal universities in the country yesterday directed its members to get ready for a very long strike, blaming it on the failure of talks between federal government and ASUU.

Meanwhile, lecturers of Colleges of Education, who have downed tools in an indefinite strike since October, yesterday suspended their industrial action.

National President of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Nuhu Ogirima, made this known while briefing journalists after its expanded National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

According to him, the suspension follows reassurances from federal government to meet some of the workers’ key demands and implementation of agreements, adding that the union will reconvene in January to reassess government’s commitment and
“will not hesitate to stay away from work again if it reneges on the agreement.”

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