After about three months, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Tuesday finally suspended its nationwide strike after an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.
The body however, mandated its Joint Committee to liaise with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) with a view to resolving all outstanding issues within a month.
According to the National Publicity Secretary of the Union, Clement Chirman, the decision to suspend the strike was sequel to satisfactory progress made so far in its negotiation with government and the intervention of the Joint Senate and House of representative committee on education.
“The union, after a holistic appraisal of the progress made so far resolved that the strike be suspended. It noted that the circular for implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for lower cadres has been released while appreciable work has been done on reconstitution of governing councils of Federal polytechnics which were earlier omitted.
“On enrolment of polytechnics into the IPPIS module, the union remains resolute on its earlier position that reasonable caution be employed to take care of the autonomy of polytechnics”, he stated.
The Union’s demands include, call for constitution of the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics; migration of the lower cadre on CONTISS 15 salary scale; release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics; commencement of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Polytechnics and worrisome state of State owned Polytechnics in the country; continued appointment of unqualified persons as Rectors and Provosts of Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Technologies by some by state governments.
Others are, need to address refusal of most State governments to implement the approved salary packages (CONPCASS) for their Polytechnics, and the 65 year retirement age; insistence of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to include Federal Polytechnics in the IPPIS module as against the Union’s protestations while other arms of the tertiary education sub-sector are allowed to maintain the status quo; continued recognition of The National Board for Technical Education as the regulatory body of Nigerian Polytechnics as against the union’s repeated call for the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission (NPC); snail speed on works on the amendment of the Federal Polytechnics Act/Scheme of Service and non commencement of the re-negotiation of the FGN/ASUP agreement as contained in the signed agreement.