By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Federal Government and the nation’s polytechnic lecturers, yesterday, failed to reach an agreement during a meeting held to find solutions to the demands of the latter.
The union, Academic Staff of Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, and the government refused to shift ground on their positions, leading to the adjournment of the meeting to January, after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The government’s delegation was led by Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, while the National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse, led the delegation of the union.
Speaking to reporters after the marathon meeting that lasted over five hours at the office of Minister of Education, Duste said both parties could not resolve the issue as they failed to reach a compromise.
Dutse said a new date would be communicated to the union by the Federal Government team which he said had continued to make several appeals over their demands.
“We have met with the government officials and we have discussed the issued thoroughly and it is not possible for us to resolve the strike in the meeting. All the issued were discussed but like I told you, we will not be able to resolve them now and we have agreed to reconvene again.”
“We have the issue of NEEDS assessment, we have the issue of CONTISS 15 arrears, we have issue with the scheme of service, and the issue of non payment of salaries in state owned institutions, and then we have the issue of victimised members. So these are the major issues and others.
“They will pass a new date to us. We have agreed on a date but will conclude by Friday. The meeting can’t definitely be before Christmas,” he added.
He said the union had no regret embarking on strike the same time with their university counterparts, noting “The issue of being the right time depends on the environment you find yourself.
“They have their issues and we have ours. And because ASUU is on strike doesn’t mean we can’t go on our own. These are two different things and I believe we are doing the right thing.
“If you are following the trend, you will see that we have had several engagements with the government and they have made several appeals and so now, we have decided to embark on the strike. So whether it is eight or not, it depends in the environment.”