The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has explained why it issued the Federal Government an ultimatum to address its numerous outstanding demands.
Publicity secretary of ASUP, Abdullahi Yalwa, said that the August 31 ultimatum was meant to give government time to address the demands.
According to him: “It is the wisdom of our union’s National Executive Council (NEC) to give the government more time to progressively resolve these outstanding issues.’’
According to him, the renegotiation process is at the technical committee stage and the union’s submission on emoluments was referred to a technical committee, stating, “the committee is yet to make its submission.”
On why the renegotiation is slowed, “I think Federal Government deserves to give a better answer on this. But to us, we see it as the usual disrespect to our subsector and general disregard to education by those entrusted to drive our affairs in the country.
“Simply put, it is a misplacement of priority and perhaps institutionalization of conflicts such as strikes to prompt what ought to be a normal government business by the convener.”
Yalwa disclosed that, during the union’s last strike, some of its demands were met, including payment of arrears of minimum wage, approval of normative instruments for institutions and programmes accreditation and action are being taken to address the issue of victimized union officers in IMT Enugu.
He said some other demands were outstanding and the union believed that they were being handled, which include release of N15 billion revitalization funds, review of scheme of service, withdrawal of the contentious template for appointment of principal officers and release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration.
On non-release of N15 billion revitalization fund, Yalwa said the President gave the approval in 2017 but government had not released the money since then.
“There is a direct relationship between conditions of service and quality assurance. Regular payment of salaries is one of the instruments for accreditation of institutions.”
On ASUP’s position on the Abia State Polytechnic crisis, Yalwa said the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) was within its policy guides to carry out actions as it did with Abia Poly.
The next line of action after the expiration of the ultimatum, he said, would be the NEC’s review and decision, noting, “the press and the general public will be appropriately updated.”