Chris Steven, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics ,ASUP, has warned Federal Government to address the issue of shortfall of salaries of its members across public polytechnics in the country.
National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse in an interview in Abuja at weekend said members of the union can no longer bear the hardship brought to them by government as a result of receiving their salaries in fraction since last year.
He said government had promised to address the problem which according to him started since January 2016 noting that the situation is getting worse with an increment in the quantum of cut.
According to him, the union would be having its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting third week of March 2017 to deliberate on the way forward.
“Apart from the outstanding challenge we have with government, there are new development that crop up last year. This is the issue of shortfall in personnel, from January 2016 we started observing shortfall in our personnel this led to our members collecting fraction of their salaries with the promises that it would be ratified
“They told us by January this year the matter will be resolved, but it did not change, but in February we were told the situation is getting worst because the quantum of the cut has increased significantly and it would create more hardship and sufferings for our members.
“So we want to use this medium to tell government that we have been patient enough, we have been suffering and smiling for too long. And we also want to warn that if this issue continues we cannot guaranteed industrial harmony in the Polytechnic sub sector of the education system”. He said
The ASUP President urged government to keep to its word by fulfilling promises made saying “this is our right, we have worked for it. Anytime we start agitation they will talk about no work, no pay. So we want to assure them that if they continue cutting our salaries, we too will cut our services because for every services we render, we deserve to be compensated.
“We are all aware of economy hardship in the country is biting and so if you get less than what you use to receive, the situation will be worst for you. So sincerely we want to tell government to give us what we deserve and make sure that our members do not suffer any longer because we are not going to allow that to continue. We are going to take action that will protect and defend the interest of our members and system”. He added
On the payment of the backlog owed the workers, Dutse lamented that despite renewed promises by government to pay when approval is made on the virement, nothing is done till date.