You may recall that our Union commenced a 2 weeks definite warning strike on the 16th of May, 2022 following the resolution of its emergency National Executive Council meeting of 11th of May, 2022. The decision was taken to protest the lethargic attitude of the government towards fulfilling some aspects of the memorandum of action signed with our Union in 2021
Within the period of the action, significant inroads were made in four (4) of the items in our list of demands. They include:
- Commencement of payment of arrears of the new minimum wage in all affected Federal Polytechnics. Isolated cases of underpayment and omissions are being handled at institution levels.
- Approval and release of regulatory instruments for accreditation of institutions, management and programmes. 4 regulatory instruments that address issues around accreditation activities which were reviewed in 2021 were approved and released to the public through the NBTE website. This issue shall provide a policy framework to address the challenges in state owned institutions. Already, implementation is on as a decision has been taken on the situation in Abia State Polytechnic where salaries are owed for 34 months. The proprietor (Abia State Government) has been dully communicated.
- A decision has also been taken on the vexed issue of victimization of union officials in Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu where 5 of our officers were dismissed due to their participation in the 2017 strike of the Union.
- The issue of continued infractions in the Federal Polytechnics Act as typified by the release of a contentious template for appointment of principal officers by the Federal Ministry of Education was also handled as the document is due to be withdrawn as agreed.
Outstanding items include:
- Release of the approved N15Bn revitalization fund for the sector. This issue is still stuck in the Federal Ministry of Finance with a promise of follow up action by the Education ministry.
- Release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre. This issue is still at the Committee level set up to resolve the dispute on the contested 2014/15 verification report.
- Release of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service: The document is still awaiting approval as it has been recalled from the Head of Service for further review.
- Continued delay in the appointment of substantive Rectors for Federal Polytechnics in Mubi, Offa, and Kaduna.
- Resolution of issues with members in Colleges of Agriculture: The issue is still pending as a resolution will require an interface between the Education ministry and Agriculture ministry.
The 2 weeks definite strike of the Union will be rounding off on the 29th of May, 2022 as agreed by the emergency meeting of NEC. Consequently, the Union is requesting members to resume duties effective 30th of May, 2022 while hoping that government will take advantage of the window to address the 5 outstanding items.
Further directives/ updates shall be released after the 103rd meeting of NEC which is scheduled to hold in the month of June, 2022 during which the situation shall be reviewed.
(National Publicity Secretary)
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