Warn against industrial action
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has asked Federal Government to release the N35,000 wage award to her members to avoid industrial disputes in the sector.
President of ASUP , Comrade Shammah S. Kpanja while speaking in Abuja Sunday with Journalists said members of the union are angry and agitating due to economic hardship.
Comrade Kpanja lamented that despite promised by the government that the N35, 000 wage award was to cushion the effect of the recently removal of fuel subsidy which should run for six months effective from September, 2023 , but paid only one month
“Government has no reason for not paying that N35000 wage award, you know when this government came onboard , they introduced some economy policies, one is the remove subsidy in the price of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), and this brought about increase in prices of goods and services and this affect the condition of living of our members .
“With struggles from the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, and other stakeholders , the government agreed to pay as palliative the sum of N35. 000 as wage award for workers pending when the national Minimum wage will be implemented in March .
“The agreement was that the wage award will run for 6 months effective from September 2023, but as we speak , government only paid in September and now is January 2024, yet government is not saying anything despite the hash economic situation . Right now people cannot pay transport to their places of work and the small palliative you promise to give them is not forthcoming”.
On the 35 and 25 percent increase, the ASUP president warned that one year after the increment, government is yet to implement.
“The last time the salary of academic staff in the Polytechnics was increase was in 2010 and from that time till now, inflation has eaten deep into what was approved then , the cost of living has gone high, consumer price index has gone high and we have started the re-negotiation of 2010 agreement , along the one, government stop the agreement but later increase the salary of chief lecturers in the Polytechnics by 35 percent while other staff salary was increase by 25 percent and the increments was supposed to take effect from January 2023 .
“Now is January 2024, yet government has not implemented that and seriously we are embarrassed and angry with the government. If government has issued a circular that your salary has been increased, the best thing for them to do is to commence implementation but one year after we still don’t know what is happening”.
The union leader appealed to government to urgently address this issues because according to him tension is high because of the economic situation in the country
“So we want to inform the government that the tenson is high in the sector because members are agitating so we are begging the government to do the needful before it would get out of hand”.
On the third party deduction, Comrade Kpanja described as unacceptable for government not to remit monise deducted from workers salary .
He said the monies which was deducted from workers salary were supposed to be remitted into workers cooperative account but government did not do so.
“You know as civil servants, we have cooperatives in our various division and these cooperatives are ways we save money to help ourselves in one way or the order . Members have made commitment from their salaries that certain amount of money be deducted and put in the cooperative account for the raining days but government in the month of December failed to remit such monies deducted from workers salary. Even the check off we’re not remitted”.
” We are given the government enough time to do needful, because our members are agitating because the economy is bitting harder . We are going to call our NEC meeting once this window we are given the government didn’t yield any positive result”.