•Say increment was approved by Buhari’s administration
•Urge FG to return to the renegotiation table to address other concerns
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA— THE Academic Staff Union of the Polytechnics, ASUP, has said the recent removal of subsidy on petrol with its attendant increase in prices of goods and services, has rubbished the approval of 35 per cent and 25 per cent wage review for academic staff in Nigerian polytechnics.
The union also said the review was carried out by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022 before the subsidy removal that had brought untold hardship to the masses.
ASUP in a statement by the president, Anderson U. Ezeibe, called on the federal government to, without delay, return to the renegotiation table so that all other contentious issues would be addressed.
The statement read: “Our union has undertaken a review of the recent approval and release of a new wage structure for Nigeria’s Polytechnics as communicated through the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission, NSIWC.
“Following the review process by our Union’s team, it has become pertinent to put forward the Union’s position on this recent development for the purposes of clarity.
“The new salary structure indeed reflects an increase of 35% for chief lecturers; and 25% for other layers of staff in the CONPCASS salary structure.
“This increase is a slight adjustment on the offer of 35% and 23.5% made by the government in the process of the renegotiation of ASUP/FGN 2010 agreement in July, 2022. The offer fell short of our union’s demands during the renegotiation process.
“While the union was considering the offer last year, with a view to a response, the renegotiation process went into an unwelcome hiatus as the government team has not resumed the process of renegotiation since then.
“While it is instructive to underline our union’s acknowledgement of the approved adjustment in our salaries as positive, we call on the government to ensure immediate implementation and release of the arrears.
“It is equally important to note that the offer was made by the government before the latest and current economic downturn occasioned by the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit in May, 2023.
“It, therefore, goes without saying that the positives expected from this move by the government has already been severely undermined by the current marketplace realities and we expect the government to note this.
“In view of the above, we are renewing our call for a conclusion of the ASUP/FGN 2010 agreement renegotiation which will usher in an improved and acceptable wage review reflective of the current economic realities through collective bargaining.”
On the issue of renegotiation, the union said: “A return to the renegotiation table will equally address other issues contained in the ASUP charter of demands, including post-service conditions of our members, sustainable funding for the sector, appropriate certification for products of Nigeria’s polytechnics, legal and policy framework reviews etc; as well as implementation mechanisms that will be all encompassing and across institutions owned by federal and state governments.
“Government is assured of our union’s readiness to engage in any such sincere and productive collective bargaining process which will improve the technical and vocational education landscape in the country.”