The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has commenced an indefinite strike.
Anderson Ezeibe, president of the union, announced this at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday morning.
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He said members of the union have agreed to shut all the Nigerian Polytechnics and monotechnics until their demands are met.
This is coming despite the federal government’s move to avert strike action in Polytechnics.
Daily Trust reports that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had Monday evening, invited the ASUP for an emergency meeting following the threat to embark on another round of strike.
The emergency meeting, according to a statement by the Education ministry’s spokesman, Ben. Bem Goong, was scheduled to hold today, Tuesday, at 11:00 am in the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.
But Ezeibe, at the briefing, said the resolution of members of the union to shut down all Polytechnics across the country is now enforced effectively from 12:00 am of 6th April.
He said, “Today, therefore, marks Day 1 of the execution of the resolutions of our union as already, academic activities have been shut down in ALL PROGRAMS run in Polytechnics and like institutions across the nation effective 00:00 hrs of 6th of April, 2021.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the following demands were communicated to the government through the Ministries of Education; as well as Labour and Employment and indeed other ministries where our members offer services through various monotechnics.”
ASUP listed one of their demands as non-implementation of NEEDS Assessment report of 2014 in the sector nor release of any revitalization fund to the sector despite assurances since 2017.
The union also said the non-reconstitution of governing councils in Federal Polytechnics and many state-owned institutions has led to the disruption of governance and administrative processes in the institutions since May 2020.
This, according to the union, undermined the renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government as such was unilaterally suspended by the government for over 2 years.
Ezeibe added, “The non-release of the 10-month arrears of minimum wage owed our members in Federal Polytechnics and non-implementation of the same in several state-owned institutions.
“This is despite a directive for the payment of these arrears since December 2019.
“Continued victimization of officials of our union as seen in Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu; Federal Polytechnic, Mubi; as well as Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.
“This situation has degenerated to the clamping down and brazen illegal seizure of the properties of our union by the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa”.