The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Friday says it is waiting for the response of the Federal Government to demands presented at the negotiations table.
Despite meetings with Federal Government representatives twice, ASUP insisted that it will consider suspending the strike if the National Executive Council (NEC) accept the resolutions reached with Federal Ministry of Education officials.
ASUP National President, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, told Daily Sun that the union is waiting for draft of the resolutions reached at two meetings with ministry of education officials led by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunny Echono.
Ezeibe acknowledged that progress have been made at the last meeting which lasted for over six hours, adding “ASUP is waiting for the resolutions at the April 14th meeting with government officials.”
He disclosed that if government offers are made available to the union, the National Executive Council (NEC) will be conveyed to deliberate on the offers.
“The offers from the government will be tabled before NEC for discussion. If NEC accepts the offers, ASUP will sign Memorandum of Action (MoA) with government. But if NEC reject the offers, we will make it known to government. The strike will go on even if we continue with discussion.
“Some progress was made at the meeting awaiting the appropriate documentation of the resolutions. NEC can only meet when the documentation is prepared to enable deliberation on the floor of NEC.
The suspension of the ongoing strike depends on the contents of the resolutions and the disposition of NEC to same, ” Ezeibe stated.
According to him, the union has been involved in two in out of three scheduled meetings. He said the meetings of April 6th and 14th, 2021, resulted in some significant outcome, stressing “even as we continue to press for appropriate documentations.”
He revealed that during the strike, government set up Governing Councils for Federal Polytechnics which will be inaugurated on April 20th to complete the governance structures in the polytechnics and also to ensure the conclusion of stalled staff appraisal process and appointment of principal officers.
“It shall also serve to resuscitate the abandoned renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government. Visitation panels have also been inaugurated. Despite the strong reservations of our union to the composition of these panels among other issues.”
Ezeibe said report from state governments indicate ongoing discussion as it affects unpaid salaries, lack of governing council, and non-implementation of new minimum wage.
The ASUP president expressed disappointed with recent appointment of unqualified persons as rectors in five out of six new polytechnics in the country, noting “we are further taken aback by the hollow reaction of the government in the form of a defense to the illegality.”
He explained that the union will still be in the trenches and sustain the ongoing strike until the demands are met by the government.