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NASU threatens strike over new minimum wage, promotion arrears

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

The Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) of Federal Polytechnics in Nigeria has threatened to embark on industrial action if the Federal Government continues to pay deaf ears to the new minimum wage and promotion arrears of its members.

The Deputy National President, Comrade Simon Go’ar gave the warning during a regular meeting of polytechnics and other trade groups at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra state.

Go’ar, who said that other federal government ministries, departments and agencies have since been paid the approved minimum wage, disclosed that the staff of federal polytechnics were yet to be paid despite untold hardship on members occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic .

“The Federal Government should pay the arrears of the new national minimum wage to staff of federal Polytechnics across the country without further delay to help cushion the hardship they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country.

“Another problem agitating the minds of our members is in the Federal Polytechnics is the delay in payment of promotion arrears. While some Federal Polytechnics have been paid up to year 2018, others are still being owed 2017 and 2018, and that of 2019 is already overdue

“We call on the Accountant-General of Federation to expedite action on the matter by ensuring that promotion arrears are paid as and when due. This will also go a long way to prevent industrial disquiet in the polytechnic sector”, he warned.

He also called on the Federal Government to immediately reconstitute the governing councils of Federal polytechnics that were dissolved at the expiration of their tenure in May 2019 to enable them play their constitutional roles.

In a remark, the General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, regretted the challenges and hiccups some workers experience with Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and called on the government to look into the platform which, he said, was not serving the purpose for which it was introduced in the education sector. Recall that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are still at loggerheads with federal government over IPPIS implementation.

Also, the Chairman of the Union in Anambra state, Emeka Nwafor, decried the level of insecurity confronting the nation, and enjoined government, religious organisations, families and well-meaning Nigerians to synergize with a view to saving the nation’s economy from total collapse.

The Federal Polytechnic Oko NASU leader, Comrade Emmanuel Okolie, while commending the industrial harmony existing between the union and the school management, however urged the school authorities to consolidate on their achievements by resolving long standing issues of some NASU members in the institution.

Earlier, the Rector of Federal Polytechnics Oko, Engr. Fransisca Nwagulugo, described education as the key to the development and growth of any nation, and called on stakeholders in the sector to initiate ideas for sustainable quality learning in various institutions.

Orient Daily reports that stakeholders at the event also seize the occasion to identify challenges confronting the nation and proffered possible solutions.

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