By Festus Ahon
UGHELLIâ€”THE three Delta State Polytechnics in Oghara, Ogwashi-Uku, and Ozoro and the State College of Physical Education, Mosogar, are now ghost campuses, as the indefinite strike embarked upon by unions in the institutions enters day three.
Vanguard was at Ozoro and Ogwashi-Uku and reports that the schools were empty, except for the union leaders who were at the gate of the schools apparently enforcing the strike.
Commissioner for Higher Education, Mr. Hope Eghagha, said government was already negotiating with the union leaders before the strike was declared on Monday.
He added that in the meeting held with the union leaders last Wednesday, government approved the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Scale (CONTISS) for the workers of the schools.
Eghagha said government has also directed the management of the various schools to pay the 28 days hotel allowance to staff members of the union, subject to the availability of funds, adding that 14 pension fund administrators have also been appointed.
To this end, the commissioner appealed to the union leaders to call off the strike and go back to work, adding that a memo was being written to the schools advising them to pay the 28 days hotel allowance and approval for the payment of CONTISS.
He, however, expressed worry that the junior workers would be losing some money with the approval of the CONTISS.
Speaking to our correspondent on telephone yesterday, Chairman of ASUP, Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Engr. Okeoghene Ebiobi, confirmed that government has approved CONTISS and also agreed to direct the various institutions to pay the 28 days hotel allowance to staff members subject to availability of funds.
Ebiobi said the strike would not be called off until the unions received approval letter for the payment of the CONTISS and after a careful examination of the letter, adding that a joint meeting of the unions would be conveyed once they received the letter.
He insisted that the 28 days hotel allowance should be paid promptly and not subject to the availability of funds.