The students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, have shut down the institution’s main gate to protest the indefinite strike of members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP).
The students protested on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the school’s main gate and also denied members of the polytechnic community from gaining entrance. They expressed displeasure over the suspension of lectures by their teachers.
Students who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said the protest and blocking of of the school gate will continue until the lecturers return to class.
The lecturers are protesting the non payment four months salaries between June and September 2018 and 67 per cent of ten months salary arrears.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the declaration of the action last week.
The Zone C Coordinator of ASUP, Olawale Omoobaorun, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that the lecturers made the decision at the last congress of the union where they all expressed their displeasure over the unpaid salaries.
“It is high time we informed the general public and stakeholders about our union’s decision and the state of the 38-year-old polytechnic. As we speak, the state government is yet to pay us a dime in the last four mouths. Also, it is owing us 67 per cent of 10 months salaries and N72 million part- time claim, among others,” the ASUP coordinator said.
The strike by the lecturers is tagged ‘Work-to-rule,’ an industrial action in which workers do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract, and precisely follow all safety or other regulations, which may cause a slowdown or decrease in productivity.
Such an action is considered less disruptive than a total strike or lockout. For instance, the lecturers will go to school but not attend classes to teach students.
But the students are not amused. One of the protesting students, Sanusi Adekunle, said the protest became imperative after the management and the lecturers failed to give them what they deserve as students in the school.
“We won’t leave the school gate until the management and lecturers yield to our demands. We are here because the ASUP suspended lectures since two weeks ago. And ever since then they suspended part-time lectures and declare work-to-rule for the fulltime.”
Another student, Idayat Alli, told PREMIUM TIMES that “students have become tools in the hands of management. They care less about our future. The protest and shut down continues.”
The polytechnic spokesman, Yemi Ajibola, cut the reporter’s phone call when he sought his reactions.
He also refused to answer subsequent calls put across to him as at the time of this report.