ACADEMIC Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has embarked on an indefinite strike as the Federal Government has failed to attend to all pending issues raised in its ultimatum. ASUP had issued a two week notice to the Federal Government to implement the agreement with the union over four years ago.
Some of the demands of ASUP which government had refused to attend to include discontinuation of discrimination against polytechnic graduates, both in the public service and labour market in Nigeria and the release of the White Paper on visitation of federal polytechnics.
The non-implementation of CONTISS 15 integration for lower cadres and its arrears as from 2009 when a new salary structure was approved, the non-establishment of a National Polytechnic Commission (NPC), and the wrongful recognition of the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) as the regulatory body for polytechnics.
The lecturers also want more funding for polytechnics, appointment of competent people into governing councils and adequate funding of state polytechnics by their owners.
Meanwhile, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for some. Cross River State University of Technology students and staff as the PDP governorship candidate on April 11 election was declared winner. Ayade who is a senator representing Cross River North in the election polled 342,016 votes to defeat his closest rival of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Odey Ochicha who scored 53,893 votes. It is hoped Ayade and his deputy, Ivara Isu who are both professors will fast track the resuscitation of academic activities in the institution which has been grounded for almost four months.
It would be recalled that academic activities in Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) were disrupted as the staff of the institution embarked on an indefinite strike early 2015.
The CRUTECH staffers are protesting the non-payment of their two (now four) month salaries as well as other outstanding allowances. Students returning from the yuletide holiday were forced to return home following the closure of the university by the striking workers. The CRUTECH workers alleged that the institution had been totally neglected by the state government and vowed not to return to work until their demands were met.
The chairman of CRUTECH branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Stephen Ochang, accused the state government of being insensitive to the plight of the workers.
Ochang disclosed that the four industrial unions of the school last November wrote to the state government demanding the payment of arrears of salaries and other allowances owed the university staff but as at press time, nothing has been done.