• The ugly incident that blighted the polytechnics in Nigeria last year is about to hit again unless the Federal Government moves swiftly to avert the impending industrial action by polytechnic workers.

    A statement released by three workers union of polytechnics; Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU), and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) read:

    The attention of the unions have been drawn to a circular FME/S/66/C.2/11/270 dated 26th January, 2015 emanating from the office of Honourable Minister of Education purported to have suspended the implementation of CONTISS 15 in Polytechnics without recourse to the spirit and letters of agreement with the unions in the sector.

    “Recall that the unions in the sector were on strike throughout the preceding year following the refusal of government to act responsibly and honour agreements signed with the unions. In deference to the then newly appointed minister’s plea for time, and to his strong assurances that the thorny issues would be resolved within three months, the unions resolved to give the government a benefit of the doubt and suspended the strike in July 2014.

    “Unfortunately and sadly, six months after, and despite repeated assurances in several meetings with the Honorable Minister of Education, what we get is the suspension of a statutory salary structure (CONTISS 15) approved by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’dua, which implementation dates back to 2009.

    “Characteristically, we have maintained the highest standards of diligence, patience and due process in our engagement with government and its agencies. But let these virtues not be misconstrued for fragility.

    “We, therefore, call on the minister of education to without delay reverse the purported circular suspending the implementation of CONTISS 15 and cause the Governing Councils and management of Federal Polytechnic, Oko and Ado-Ekiti to reverse their purported proscription of the unions.

    “We strongly caution that our goodwill should not be taken for granted. Failure to reverse this retrogressive and illegitimate directive will leave our unions with no other choice but resort to the last option.


    The unions are accusing the government of refusing to honour agreements reached and doing nothing to address the grievances that led to its 11-month strike which was suspended in July 2014 to enable the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, settle down and look into the issues.


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