Academic and other activities in all three Delta state government-owned polytechnics were paralyzed on Thursday as academic and non-academic staff unions of the institutions embark on an indefinite strike over disagreement with the government.
The joint unions of the three state polytechnics located in Otefe-Oghara, Ogwashi-Uku and Ozoro in the three senatorial districts of the state embarked on the action to protest against alleged failure of the state government and ministry of education to implement discussions on emoluments and conditions of service.
“As I am talking to you now exams activities that were supposed to start at Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku did not hold Thursday.
“I can also confirm to you that I am in Ozoro now and there is no lecture and all staff have stayed away in obedience to the call to down tools till further notice. The situation is the same in Oghara,” a source at Ozoro said.
The Academic Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union, (NASU) members said the indefinite strike was to press home their demands in the staled negotiation with the state government.
Comr. Thomas Ojuye, Chairman of the Joint Union, told newsmen on Wednesday that the State Government failed to revisit understanding reached at the meeting the unions held with the Commissioner for Higher Education, Mr. Jude Sinebe, earlier.
He lamented the failure of the State government to begin “full implementation of the new revised scheme of services for polytechnics and other similar Tertiary institution in Nigeria, stoppage of promotion from Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Scheme (CONTISS) 11 to 13, non-implementation of migration of technologists, executive and technical officers, instructors and confidential secretaries cadre on CONTISS 12 and above.
“Migration of CONTISS 11 and below, stoppage of payment of promotion arrears, withdrawal of 65 years retirement policy, dismissal of Chairmen of ASUP and NASU in Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, and the recent law on the acquisition of PhD certificates as prerequisites for promotion to the post of Chief Lecturer”.
The statement further added that, “In the light of the above lingering issues since 2014 and the State Government indiscreet disposition to the demands of Staff of the respective polytechnics, after the Union had reached an understanding in the meeting previously held with the Honourable Commissioner for Higher Education, Engr.Jude Sinebe, with the chairmen of the Governing Council, Rectors and Joint Union Executives of the Delta State owned Polytechnics, Ozoro,Ogwashi-uku,and Otefe-Oghara on Monday 5th June 2017 at the conference Hall, the Ministry of Higher Education, Asaba , hence the action”.
The Joint Union Chairman, Comrade Thomas Ojuye, strongly advised the Union members to remain steadfast and united as they prepare for a long gihtt to address the challenges facing the Union.
He assured them that “victory is not far fetched from them to achieve their aims and objectives.”