Members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) have put on hold their proposed national strike slated to commence last Friday.
The union, in a statement issued yesterday by its national president, Anderson Ezeibe, said that the decision was to allow the federal government to concentrate on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Ezeibe said: “Our union is concerned at the prevailing 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.”
Ezeibe urged ASUP 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 COVID-19 pandemic.
The union had during its 97th National Executive Council meeting resolved to embark on an industrial action after the expiration of 15 days ultimatum issued with effect from 18th of March, 2020. The ultimatum expired on the 3rd of April, 2020.
It said that its agitation is a consequence of the inability of the government to keep to agreements entered into with the union since 2010 as well as the avoidable shortcomings associated with the payment of February 2020 salaries in Federal Polytechnics in the country.
It accused the government through its agencies of insensitive to the plight of its members over the years and has continued to demonstrate such attitude as seen in the delay in the release of March 2020 salaries of members.
According to the union “key aspects of our dispute with the government include 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; 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.”