ASUP suspends strike for three months

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Jul 12th, 2014
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The 11-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) is over, at least for now.

The union suspended the strike yesterday for three months to enable the federal government address the issues that led to the strike.

ASUP National President, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, told The Nation on phone that the ýunion took the action to give the new Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, who took office  on Wednesday the benefit of the doubt.

“We met with the Minister on Thursday and he pleaded with us to give him time to address the issues and we have agreed to do so,” he said.

The lecturers are expected to resume work on Tuesday.

Shekarau hailed the ASUP leadership for its “commitment to the cause of education in general and in particular, the wellbeing of our polytechnics which I always refer to as the engine room of our technological growth and development.”

The country, he said,  “cannot afford to ignore the polytechnics…we cannot grow without the manpower being produced by the polytechnics,” and  added: “I am happy you noted that I am just coming in; and I will need a little more time to study the issues on ground and see how much we can get out of all the issues you raised. The issues you have raised as far as I am concerned are not totally insurmountable. They are issues that will lead to dialogue, understanding with the spirit of give and take.”

Previous talks between the union and the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, were deadlocked owing to what  ASUP described as a “deliberate failure” by the government to address its 13 demands.

These include:  an end to the discrimination against polytechnic graduates in the Public Service and in the labour market;  release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics; implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadres and its arrears as from 2009; establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission (NPC)  as a regulatory body for Polytechnics.

Others are: review of the Polytechnic Act, improved funding of the polytechnic sub-sector and equitable disbursements of TETfund grants among universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

The strike started in April 2013 and was  first suspended on July 17, 2013 following the intervention of the Senate Committee on Education only to resume October 4, 2013 when the union was dissatisfied with ýthe slow pace of the implementation.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) is to meet with Shekarau on Thursdayý to discuss their strike, which is over nine months.

 

 


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