The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has directed members across the country to play complementary roles in the fight against coronavirus in Nigeria.
The union, in a statement signed by the president, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe also said the planned indefinite strike over government’s inability to keep to agreements entered into with the union in 2010 as well as the avoidable shortcomings associated with the payment of February 2020 salaries in Federal Polytechnics had been put on hold.
The statement said the union was concerned about the rate at which the dreaded COVID-19 was spreading in the country, and urged Nigerians and her members to adhere to the safety measures at all times.
Earlier on 18th of March 2020, the union had issued a 15-day ultimatum for the government to address the issues on contention or face an indefinite strike. The ultimatum elapsed the 3rd of April, 2020.
The statement reads “As a consequence of the inability of the government to keep to agreements entered into with our union since 2010 as well as the avoidable shortcomings associated with the payment of February 2020 salaries in Federal Polytechnics in the country, our union’s 97th National Executive Council meeting had resolved to embark on an industrial action after the expiration of a 15 days ultimatum issued with effect from 18th of March, 2020.
“However, our union is concerned at the prevailing but unacceptable rate of the spread of the dreaded COVID 19 pandemic across the nation and its debilitating consequences on our national life and indeed humanity. Moved by the overriding need to collectively focus on and arrest the growing spread of this scourge in our nation, the union has resolved to Put on hold its proposed industrial action in deference to overriding national interest and humanity to resume at a more auspicious period.”
The union further encouraged members nationwide to play complementary roles to the extent of the deployment of their professional competencies as well as participating in safe community action efforts in the fight against the COVIC 19 pandemic.
“While our union has decided on this path of patriotism, it is expected that the government will provide the enabling environment to ensure an all-encompassing and sustainable victory against not only the COVID 19 pandemic, but also against other similar diseases ravaging our nation,” it said.
The disputed issues include among others, avoidable shortcomings in the deployment of the IPPIS payment platform in Polytechnics in February, 2020 salaries against the union’s understandings with the responsible agency of government and non payment of salaries in some state owned institutions in the country with some states owing our members as much as 17 months in salaries.