The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) will commence a two-week strike on Monday, May 16, 2022.
The decision was announced after an emergency National Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in a statement signed by the national president of the union, Anderson Ezeibe, and released on Wednesday.
In the statement titled: ‘Status Update of the ASUP/Federal Government of Nigeria Engagement; and Resolutions of the Emergency National Executive Council Meeting of ASUP Held on the 11th Of May, 2022′, the union said it “suspended its industrial action declared on the 6th of April 2021 on the 10th of June, 2021, following the signing of a Memorandum of Action with the government.”
ASUP maintained that “the signed MoA contained a clear path to a sustainable resolution of the issues in dispute with timelines attached to each of the items in dispute.”
The statement added that the union gave ASUU three months “to enable the government to conclude processes already initiated in the direction of fulfilment of the items in the MoA which are process-led.”
ASUP noted that it met with the Federal Government nine months after the strike was suspended to evaluate the content of the agreement, giving it (the FG) a month to meet its (ASUP) demands, an ultimatum the former did not meet.
“Nine months after the suspension of the industrial action and six months after the expiration of the three-month period of suspension, our Union’s NEC met in its 102nd meeting in Federal Polytechnic Mubi and after reviewing the report of the implementation of the MoA, resolved to issue a 1-month ultimatum to the government effective 4th April 2022 to address the outstanding items in the MoA and other emergent issues or face the reality of another trade dispute with our Union.
“Our Union’s ultimatum expired on the 4th of May, 2022 and as is the norm, the Union’s NEC reconvened today, 11th of May, 2022 to review the response of the government to the ultimatum, particularly as it affects relevant agencies/functionaries of government.
“Within the period of the ultimatum, the Union met with the National Board for Technical Education to review the grievances with a view to resolution.
“Another meeting fixed at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Education (after the 2 expiration of the ultimatum) failed to meet basic requirements for collective bargaining.
“Our union stayed away from the meeting as it was not structured to address the issues in dispute.
“The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment only acknowledged receipt of the union’s ultimatum and made no attempts at conciliation,” the statement reads in part.
ASUP stated its demands to include non-release of the approved revitalisation fund for the sector, approved N15bn, yet to be released 11 months after approval, non-deployment of approved salary structures, poor governance structure as well as other issues affecting standards, particularly in state-owned Polytechnics.
The union had on Monday, refused to attend a meeting with the federal government.
Speaking to journalists, ASUP said limiting its industrial action to two weeks was a considerate move.
“Our ultimatum actually expired on April 4, 2022. Since then, we have been very patient with the government.
“We shunned the May 9 meeting with the government because we were told the meeting would be with other unions.
“We did not declare three months, we only declared two weeks and that is because we are being considerate,” Ezeibe said.