Chris Steven, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) has lamented what it called ‘avoidable hardship’ faced by its members, following non payment of salaries as well as shortfall in the payment of salaries by both Federal and State governments.
National president of ASUP, Usman Dutse in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union has been summoned for next month to review various issues at stake and take necessary decision.
Dutse who said the workers cannot trust government anymore on its promises, said though Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and his Finance counterpart had earlier announced of a certain amount beingn set aside to offset the payment of shortfalls in salaries, promotion arrears and first 28 days.
“Let me use this medium to call on our state governors particularly those who are owing our members to do the needful.
We appreciate the efforts Federal government is making by providing bailout to states and the Paris club refund,as well as directing them to ensure the payment of workers salaries and other arrears.
“We are equally calling on the Federal government to ensure the payment of backlock of salaries, promotion arrears, first 28 days and shortfall in salaries of workers”. He said
He added that statea like Abia, Edo, Osun, Oyo, Kogi, Benue and Rivers, Nasarawa are owing their members ranging from four to 11 months, adding that that had made most of the members unable to send their children to school.
The ASUP President appealled to the governors to honour their promises during one of their meetings that they will use the last Paris club given to them to offset backlog of workers salaries.
“Particularly in Abia state polytechnic our members are owed seven months, in Edo state polytechnic our members are owed eight months, Osun 21 months half salaries, Oyo state four and eleven months of half salaries, Kogi 11 months while in Benue they have five months. Also promotions are yet to be implemented in most of the states, these are Nasarawa, Rivers, Kogi and Abia are dated back since 2014.
“In Rivers state check off dues and other deductions of our union have been withheld for the past 5 months by the state government.
These governors should be magnanimous enough to pay this money because our members are sufferings. We know the economic condition and we know what it takes for someone one to stay for one month without salary, talk more of someone to stay for 11 or 8 months without salary.
The ASUP stressed that “things are hard and we can’t pay school fees of our children and that is why there is lots of out of school children.
I wander why this government will expect performance and productivity from these workers because there is no how a worker will work efficiently when he or she has not been paid.
On the plight of their members at the Federal level, Comrade Dutse said” We are equally calling on the Federal government to ensure the payment of backlog of salaries, promotion arrears, first 28 days and shortfall in salaries of workers.
“We are all aware that the economy is bitten harder, the cost of living is high and people are managing to survive, and so instead of increasing, they are reducing salaries so government ensure the backlog of salaries of workers at the Federal are being paid particularly the shortfall and the promotion arrears, the first 28 days are paid.
He also called on government to do all it can to pass the polytechnic act, adding that would reduce cost of running the councils of the institutions.
“The review of the polytechnic act has past the second reading and we believe if that is pass It would even reduce the cost of running the council.
And also the renegotiation of the 2019 agreement, since the announcement of the constitution of the committee to renegotiate the agreement, till date nothing has been done about it.
Our NEC is holding next month, we will review the situation and know the action to take”.