~ Describes it as cheap blackmail
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has denied sponsoring the protest against the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State, Engr, Francisca Unoma Nwafulugo.
The Union describes the allegation as cheap blackmail from the enemies of progress.
In a statement Tuesday by the Chairman of ASUP in the Institution, Samuel Igbokwe, which was made available to The Razor News, the Union agreed that the Rector had paid some months of the areas owed the workers.
Last week, some members of the National Association of Nigeria Students NANs, staged a protest in the School over the two weeks strikes embarked by Non Academic workers, claiming that they were being owed 27 months allowances.
But Igbokwe, said, “It’s a subterfuge for anyone or group to allege that members of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Federal Polytechnic Oko Chapter are being used or manipulated by any individual or group in whatever guise.
” It’s also misleading for anyone to state that ASUP has a hand in the protest organized by NANS. Legitimately, ASUP is demanding for what is due to her members.
“The Union had embarked on internal strike over the same issue of payment of Excess Workload shortly before the present Rector was appointed in 2019. Some of the months were paid, the strike suspended and academic activities resumed.
“When Engr Dr Francisca Unoma Nwafulugo, the present Rector took over, she paid for some months as well, and eventually stopped paying. This caused the Union to write several letters to the Management threatening strike. Unfortunately, attention was not given to the letters from the Union to the Management.
“About July 2021, ASUP embarked on internal strike. The strike lasted for about two months. This led to a meeting among Governing Council, Management and ASUP.
“At the end of the meeting which held early September 2021, an agreement was signed that out of the 23 months owed ASUP then, three months would be paid immediately, while the remaining 20 months should be spread across months from January 2022.
” Three months were paid from September- December 2021.From January 2022 to March 3rd, no dime was paid as agreed in the joint meeting. On March 3rd, Union wrote, reminding Management and Council the need to honour the agreement reached among them and Union.
“That letter wasn’t replied, no payments were either made. The Union held a Congress on July 1st 2022, and ASUP was unsatisfied with the manner in which Management and Council didn’t reach the Union as agreed in the MOU.
“In view of this situation, Congress unanimously agreed to write Management on July 1st, notifying the Management of the decision of the Union to resume her suspended internal strike two weeks from that date, if Management fails to pay at least six months out of the twenty remaining months of the Excess Workload arrears.
“The ultimatum from the Union expired on July 14 and that was the day this present strike commenced. Within the period of the ongoing strike, payments for one month have been made twice. The Union was neglected from January till now, hence, this strike.
“Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnic Oko are much eager to return to the class rooms. The Management should do the needful to enable members to be encouraged.
“It’s the handiwork of mischief makers who deceive the public saying that ASUP is sponsoring any protest. The Union is focused, and won’t be deterred by such cheap blackmail.” ASUP Chairman said