Update: Four months after, ASUP strike continues, NEC resolves

ASUP has been on strike since October 1

The National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, after a three-hour meeting on Wednesday resolved to continue with the three-month strike of the polytechnic lecturers.

The NEC is the highest decision making body of the union and is made up of all chairmen of the various branches of the union and elected national officers.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Union, Clement Chirman, told PREMIUM TIMES that after the closed-door meeting held at the Labour House in Abuja, the union resolved to continue with the strike.

“Strike will still continue until the Federal Government meets all the 13 issues we had tabled before them”, he said.

In 2009, ASUP presented 13 demands to the Federal Government which includes better salary structure for polytechnic lecturers, infrastructure improvement, better working condition, setting up of governing councils for polytechnics, and an end to discrimination against polytechnic graduates.

The union had since then been calling on the government to meet its demands; and embarked on its latest strike on October 1, 2013.

The Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, said in December 2013, while meeting with pro-chancellors of polytechnics, that the government had met with some of the lecturers’ demands.

He said the Federal Government would pay N20.4 billion arrears owed to polytechnic staff as soon as the procedure for payment was concluded.

A meeting held on January 21 between the lecturers and the federal government ended in a deadlock. The meeting had gone rowdy when the President of the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, Sunday Obonnaya, accused ASUP of using the strike for their selfish interest.

He also accused the federal government of ignoring one of the demands, removal of the dichotomy between BSC and HND holders, which is central to students’ interest.

However, Mr. Wike apologized to ASUP for the student’s conduct. He asked the ASUP president not to go back to school to punish the student leader for the remarks made. He said the selection of four out of the 13 demands of ASUP, to be met, was collectively done by both the government and the lecturers, and not the government alone.

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