The Joint Union of Plateau State owned Tertiary Institutions (JUPTI) has raised the alarm over the way experienced professionals abandoned the institutions for greener pasture.
The union admonished the State government to look into the situation to prevent further corrosion, appealing to stakeholders to talk to government to do what is right for the schools.
The Joint Union accused the State government of negligence of the institutions thereby, forcing credible hands in departments like Engineering, Sciences and the Humanities to move to other institutions.
The Chairman of JUPTI who is also the Chairman, Plateau State Polytechnic Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Mr. Victor Dawurung , while addressing journalists Tuesday in Jos, said the people of Plateau State should not blame the Union as it plans to resume its earlier suspended strike action.
“It is time for us to tell the world what the State-owned institutions is going through. You would recall that on the 13th May, 2013, we suspended the strike we embarked upon on the 22nd February, 2013 following the personal intervention of the State Head of Service, Mr. Ezekiel Dalyop and the Special Adviser to the governor on Special Duties, Mr. Yakubu Jang.
“Up to now, none of the issues have been resolved despite written commitment by Mr. Dalyop that the issues will be urgently tackled. It is over a year now and we have not witnessed any development on our demands, we feel short-changed and we should not be blamed for any action we take.” He said
Dawurung also stated the exodus of the lecturers are as a result of lack of funds in the institutions which indicates that any staff who retires will not have gratuity as the State government had taken money from the institutions who have no subvention to pay some pensioners and seek a refund.
“The traumatic experience inflicted on us is the directive issued on the 15th August, 2013 from the Office of the State Head of Service directing Heads of Tertiary institutions to use the Gratuity Fund in the institutions to pay pensioners on the payroll of the institutions.
“Before now, government pays their monthly pension as government no longer gives us subvention to the institutions. We reacted to this in a letter dated 27th August, 2013, we wrote again on 31st July, 2014 but there was no response. We are afraid that very soon our members will retire and there will be no money for their gratuity.
“We are appealing to governor Jonah Jang to ensure a refund of all the monies that have been used in paying the pensioners so that those who are still in service do not suffer when they retire.” He stated
The Union also faulted the manner that the State House of Assembly is going about with the bill seeking to merge the State College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) Kurgwi with the State University, Bokkos, saying, “CAST is a product of an agitation by Plateau people and cannot be hijacked from them.”
The union however stood their ground, they said that as stakeholders in the education sector, they cannot watch government continue to play politics with education, stressing that, “We reject this illegal merger and call on all Plateau people to lend their voices to this unwholesome practice that may undermine educational growth on the Plateau.”