ASUP ON STRIKE FOR 147 DAYS UNDER BUHARI

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has embarked on no fewer than 147 days of industrial action in four years under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as the union vowed not to renege on its decision to continue its industrial action should the government fail to honour its agreement.

 

The PUNCH reports that ASUP, led by its national President, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, announced the decision to embark on an initial two-week warning strike.

 

Ezeibe, in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, noted that the union announced its decision to embark on the strike following a meeting it had with the government.

 

“We decided to announce the warning strike after meeting with them. Recall that another meeting was organised. Initially, we thought the meeting was with ASUP, only to hear that they were meeting other unions. Is that the way to address issues? Anyway, we have vowed not to resume until our demands are met,” he said.

 

According to an analysis conducted by our correspondent, between January 2017 and December 2021, ASUP grounded academic activities for 147 days.

 

In January 2017, the union, under the then national President, Usman Dutse, announced a seven-day warning strike which lasted from January 30, 2017, to February 5, 2017.

 

On November 11, 2017, the union announced another strike which lasted for 15 days. The strike was eventually called off on November 29, 2017.

 

On December 12, 2018, the union embarked on another strike which lasted two months. The strike was called off on February 13, 2019.

 

In 2021, the union again embarked on its longest industrial action when it embarked on a 65-day strike. The strike, which commenced on April 6, 2021, was called off on June 9, 2021.

 

So far in 2022, the union has commenced a two-week warning strike that could lead to an indefinite strike should the government fail to do the needful.

 

Speaking further, Ezeibe explained some of the issues of contention between the government and the union.

 

He listed them to include the non-release of the approved N15bn revitalisation fund for the sector, non-payment of the new minimum wage arrears, and the non-release of the reviewed normative instruments for institution/management and programmes accreditation among others.

 

Others are the non-compliance with approved retirement age, non-deployment of approved salary structures, poor governance structure, and other issues affecting standards, particularly in state-owned polytechnics.

 

He added, “Our members in Abia, Ogun, Edo, Benue, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Plateau, and Osun States are owed salaries while they also continue to suffer from different levels of deprivation, including the non-release of promotions and non-deployment of appropriate retirement age.

 

Such deprivations are also evident in Adamawa, Niger, Sokoto, and Delta States.

 

“The government has resolved to disrupt the hitherto timely payment of salaries with a subvention-styled funding regime.”

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