The Polytechnic lecturers resolved to continue the industrial action they suspended in March 2017 due to non-implementation of promotion package of members and payment of arrears.
Speaking with Pulse, the Publicity Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, Bauchi chapter, Emmanuel Odumegwu said that the strike became necessary because the management neglects what it should have addressed.
“Earlier this year, we went on strike and that strike was suspended due to some certain factors because the management has not done their own part of the bargaining and that is the reason why the strike has come up again.
“In 2016 to 2017, there are accumulated shortfall of our salary and non-implementation of promotions for people that have been promoted since 2014, 2015, 2016 and more recently those promoted in 2017.
“There is also the issue of unpaid academic allowance, that one is over two years now, and other things that are internal that should have been addressed by management but are neglected. And since the last strike when had an agreement, no single thing had been done to address it. this is the reason why we called the Congress and the Congress unanimously agreed that we should resume the strike.”
Odogwu alleged that the school management has refused to pay the lecturers their allowances despite getting a go-ahead from the government to pay them from the polytechnic’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
“Some of the issue we want them to address are not to be done by government, some of them are internal. The Government has ordered the payment of academic allowance from IGR, so the issue now is if there is IGR why would they not pay allowance”?
“‘The union’s spokesman, however, exonerated the government, saying there is no how the government would promote civil servants without paying their arrears.
“Again, there is no how the government would promote civil servants and their arrears for promotion would not be paid. Normally, the government knows that once there is promotion they must make resources available for the implementation of the promotion“
Meanwhile, the Deputy Rector of Bauchi Polytechnic, Sanusi Gumsu has debunked the allegations the lecturers levied against the school management describing it as nonsense.
When contacted by Punch to react to the issue, Sanusi said, “from what ASUP told you, did they tell you that the money was given to us and, as sadists, we refused to pay them or what? Go back and ask them.
“I want you as a journalist to go to other institutions and make enquiries whether it is only this institution that has that problem, otherwise, it doesn’t really make sense,” he stated.
The union’s strike has paralysed academic activities in the Polytechnic as students were seen on Monday, August 14 leaving the school premises.
There are indications however, that other Federal Polytechnics across the country may soon join the industrial action to protest non-implementation of promotion packages and allowances as suggested by the Deputy Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.