Polytechnic teachers vow to sustain industrial action
The striking polytechnic teachers have vowed to sustain the current action while negotiations with the Federal Government continue.
President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Anderson Ezeibe, who spoke about the state of the strike in Abuja, yesterday, declared his disappointment at government’s attitude towards resolving the industrial disagreement.
He said: “While holding our position in the trenches of this ongoing engagement (until a time the organs of our union deem fit), we shall sustain the current engagements with the government particularly in furthering and establishing the gains of the engagements of the 6th and 14th of April 2021. Details of these shall also be made known to the public at the appropriate time.”
Commenting on the recent appointments of some rectors, Ezeibe alleged that most of the appointees were not qualified for the position.
“Our union is disappointed and indeed is at variance with the recent appointment of unqualified persons as rectors in five out of the six new federal polytechnics in the country. We are further taken aback by the hollow reaction of the government in the form of defence to this illegality,” he stated.
He stressed that ASUP views the appointments as illegal, arguing that the beneficiaries fell short of the pre-qualifying criteria for such appointment as stipulated by law and therefore not qualified for the office of the rector of any federal polytechnic in the country.
The ASUP president said the union was determined to pursue its opposition to the appointments to a logical conclusion for the benefit of the sector, the nation and in favour of the rule of law.
He insisted that the ongoing strike was aimed at drawing the government’s attention to the deplorable state of public polytechnics and monotechnics so that it would reverse the fortunes of the institutions and place them on a strong pedestal towards meeting their obligations to the Nigerian people.
He insisted that the strike has witnessed strong compliance levels by chapters of the union across the nation, adding that it has led to some knee jerk reactions by the government both at the federal and state levels.
Ezeibe hinted that the meetings, which were held with the government on the 6th and 14th of April 2021 resulted in some significant outcomes, stating that ASUP would continue to press for appropriate documentation and practical steps for the demands requiring immediate action.
He revealed that with the ongoing action, governing councils have been set up for all federal polytechnics and due to be inaugurated on April 20, 2021.
He stated that the process was expected to complete the governance structures in all federal polytechnics in the country and therefore ensure the conclusion of stalled staff appraisal processes and appointment of principal officers in affected institutions, among others.
“It will also serve to resuscitate the abandoned renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government. Visitation panels have also been inaugurated for the federal polytechnics,” he added.
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