Okowa

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has issued a 30-day ultimatum to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to stop its Salary Subvention Policy in the state-owned polytechnics.

The union gave the order, yesterday, at a news conference organised by its local chapter at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku.

ASUP Zonal Coordinator (South-South and South-East), Precious Nwakodo, said the ultimatum followed the refusal of the Delta State government to review its position on the salary subvention policy.

Nwakodo, flanked by the ASUP chairman, Delta Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, chapter, Mr Joseph Iwezu, said the national body of the academic union is demanding that the salary policy be set aside.

Nwakodo said: “The Delta State government had on April 2022 introduced a salary subvention policy, which provides that the management of the polytechnics contribute 10 per cent of the total monthly wage of all staff in their employment.

“Under the policy, the state government is to take care of the remaining percentage. To the undiscerning mind, this policy may appear logical in line with best practices. However, the reality is that this policy will and has already started having serious adverse consequences on tertiary education in the state.”

The ASUP zonal coordinator said as a responsible union, ASUP decided to raise an alarm over the ills inherent in the policy.

He said the union was rejecting the policy while at the same time calling on the state government to immediately reconsider the policy with a view to stopping its implementation.

Nwakodo listed some of the ills of the policy to include delay in payment of salaries, low staff morale, low quality of education and imminent staff rationalisation.

He also said that already there is high evidence of dearth of staff in the state-owned polytechnics, saying that staff inadequacy is a major problem in Delta Polytechnics in Ogwashi-Uku and Oghara.

“Today in the two Delta-owned polytechnics, there is high shortage of academic manpower. Those that retired, resigned and dismissed are never replaced.

“The polytechnics have a high burden of ad hoc staff who are being paid by school management themselves and this development is a heavy burden on management,” he said.

The zonal coordinator advised the government that to avert the attendant ills of the policy there is an urgent need for the policy to be terminated

He said it was in the best interest of the Okowa-led administration to stop what the union described as an ‘obnoxious’ policy.

“However, if the state government fails to do the needful by reviewing this policy after 30 days from now, ASUP will have to take necessary actions to protect the interest of our members”, Nwakodo said.

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