ASUP joins ASUU, commences strike next week

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) would begin an indefinite strike from December 12.

Premium Times reports that the National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse, said in a phone interview that the federal government had failed to meet the demands of the polytechnic lecturers.

The union has been threatening to embark on strike since October 2 when it issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government before it extended it to November. But even then, it did not commence the strike.

But Mr Dutse said the proposed December 12 strike would be “total and indefinite”.

He was quoted as saying: “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.”

In November 2017, ASUP went on strike but suspended it after 15 days after the federal government reached an agreement to implement the recommendations of the 2014 NEEDS assessment.

The agreement particularly highlighted the need for increased funding of polytechnics.

Mr Dutse also said the roles of state government and the National Assembly is not encouraging when it comes to funding the education sector.

“The issue of the funding of the institutions has always been a major concern. After the government conducted the NEEDS assessment in 2014, it promised to implement it. Years after, there is no designed roadmap to implement that,” he said.

He said the bill meant to review the act on the establishment of polytechnics in the country was yet to be passed by the National Assembly. He said the union was hoping that the strike would also help fast-track its passage.

“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.

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. Benue, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Kogi are owing up to as long as 14 months,” he said.

The federal government will definitely have plenty on its plate with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) still on strike and while meetings at ending the strike have been deadlocked.

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