ASUP’s Nine-month-old Strike To Continue

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has resolved to continue its nine months old strike pending the outcome its meeting with the Senate Committee on Education on 1 July.
President of the union, Chibuzor Asumogha made the statement in an interview with NAN at the end of ASUP’s 77th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos.

He said that a meeting of the committee and some education stakeholders scheduled for June 24 did not hold because no government official came.
“That meeting was supposed to be held, resolution reached and agreement signed.
“It was against the backdrop that we fixed the NEC meeting so that, if we have the resolutions, we will come here and suspend the strike.

“Incidentally, none of the government official came for the meeting and because of that the meeting did not hold,” he said.
The official said that the committee deferred the meeting to 1 July.

Asumogha said that union resolved to continue the strike until the parties would be able to arrive at a mutual understanding.
“This is the position of the NEC; we are meeting again next Tuesday,” he said.
“We have been compromising since 2013. We have continued to agree to suspend the strike but at each point government always bridged the agreement,” he said.

He appealed to the parents and students to continue to be patient and support the union to achieve it goals.
“The thing we are saying is that government should be committed. When is it going to offset the arrears of the salary scale CONTISS 15 it is owing since 2009?” he asked.

ASUP embarked on an indefinite strike in October 2013 to press home its demand for improvement in the condition of service and infrastructure in government-owned polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of technology.
It also demands that the Federal Government should remove dichotomy between HND and degree holders.

Other demands include the release of the White Paper on the NEEDS assessment of polytechnics and review of the Polytechnic Act by the National Assembly, among others.
The government has met some of the demands, including inauguration of governing councils and setting up of the NEEDS assessment committees.