The industrial action embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Unwana chapter, seems far from over; as management of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana (AIFPU) is yet to meet the demands of the union.
The union had embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday, August 1, 2019, over non-payment of 27 months Peculiar Academic Allowance (PAA) arrears owed its members by management of AIFPU, the condition of service, poor office accommodation, among other issues.
However, in a statement made available to Blueprint Weekend in Abuja Saturday, jointly signed by chairman of the union, Mr Felix Uga Idu and publicity secretary, Mr Ukegbu Chibuzo, the union said that “AIFPU management has only paid 2 out of 27 months; with the argument that it does not have adequate internally generated revenue (IGR) to fund payment of the allowances”.
They said that, despite the intervention by council of the institution, which pleaded with the union to suspend its strike while it looks into the matters raised, “they do not need a cosmetic fix to the current face-off; rather working to seeing that a permanent solution is realised.”
The statement reads in part: “In the wake of management’s argument that it does not have adequate IGR to fund the payment of the allowances, the union came up with a position paper that revealed other sources of IGR that were not listed as IGR sources hitherto. The paper was presented to management and the council of the institution. The council, on receiving the document, promised to set up a committee to look into the document to ascertain its veracity or otherwise.
“However, the IGR sources are well known to everyone as fees/charges collected from students at various levels.
The union argues that the identified sources be used to defray the accumulated allowances. On its part, the council pleaded with the union to suspend its strike, while it looks into the matters raised. However, the union does not need a cosmetic fix to the current face-off. Rather, it is working to seeing that a permanent solution is realized.
“A memorandum of agreement (MoA) has to be done, which will contain the management’s plan for the payment of the remaining months, after the management’s must have paid a substantial number of months (instead of the 2 months it has paid out of 27months).”
It could be recalled that on the day of the congress, where the decision to embark on this current strike was taken, the Rector, Ven. Dr. Ogbonnaya Ibe Enwo, made an offer of one month out of the 27 months arrears of PAA owed, whereas the last time the management made an attempt at defraying the arrears was last December 2018, when it paid 5 months out of 25 months arrears then.