According to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has rejected the federal government’s offer outright, and the Union has also disclosed that together and jointly, they have decided to continue with its four months old strike until the union’s demands are met by the federal government.
The ASUP Publicity Secretary, Clement Chirman, who said that the Union’s decision is for the good of the students, as it wants its demands which includes requests like:
An improved teaching and learning environment,
End to HND/BSc dichotomy,
fully met before it will call off the strike which is 6 month old.
However, when the Secretary was asked if continuing with the strike will not add to the suffering of the students, Mr Clement said that the troubles which the students are going through is for the benefit of the Polytechnic system in Nigeria, and the students adding that there is no benefit without pains, and like the popular saying goes “No Pain, No Gain”.
According to the secretary, who also said that the Nigeria federal government’s attitude towards the strike, makes it look like a child’s play, and that the federal government plainly don’t give enough respect to polytechnic educations as it gives Universities education.
Mr. Chirman Clement, who disclosed this and we quote “Federal Government has offered nothing other than their former position, which we blindly trust, only for them to strike us behind the back, therefore, ASUP is not accepting that. We see the strike prolonging.
He also went on to say this: “As a union, we have tried our very best to make sure that the strike ends and normal academic session resumes, but the federal government is making it an impossible decision for us all.
Let me say that this is a very strange approach by the government to end a serious matter. We have returned this morning back to Yandev to continue with our NEC meeting,” he said.
The ASUP-NEC meeting, which commenced on Monday in Yandev, Benue State would continue till the 15th of March.
Mr. Chirman told our correspondent that the Federal Government had agreed to pay the arrears of the lecturers’ salaries in two installments, in March and September.
He, however, pointed out that the ASUP strike was not all about the financial demands of the lecturers.
“So even if they pay that money and are still not able to handle other issues among the 13 we presented to them, then the problem remains unresolved,” he said.
The polytechnic lecturers demands includes the following:
1. Proper funding of polytechnics,
2. an end to the discrimination of polytechnic graduates in the labour market.