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Polytechnic Lecturers Send Strong Message To FG Over Withheld Varsity Lecturers’ Salaries

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Polytechnic Lecturers Send Strong Message To FG Over Withheld Varsity Lecturers’ Salaries

Tribune Online

The polytechnic lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, ASUP, have faulted the Federal Government’s position to withhold the unpaid salaries of public university lecturers now that they have suspended their eight months old industrial action and backed at work in their various campuses, saying the application of “no work, no pay policy” cannot work in the academic circle.

The President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Dr Anderson Ezeibe, said this on Friday in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online while reacting to the half-October salaries payment to ASUU members.

He said that workers embarking on industrial action anywhere globally is legitimate and that they do so most times as a last resort to press home their demands from the authority.

He said such was the case with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which for eight months downed tools.

Ezeibe explained that the policy of “no work, no pay” cannot work for academia not only in Nigeria but also elsewhere globally, saying teachers have a syllabus to cover and that even if they are on industrial action for years, they will not skip any part of such scheme of work whenever they return to work.

He asked rhetorically if the Federal Government by this policy of no work no pay is now telling the lecturers to forget the scheme of work for the period they were on strike.

He said since to do such is totally non-practicable otherwise there will be more crises in the country’s education system.

He said that was why academics cannot be treated the same way as their counterparts in other sectors of the economy, particularly the civil servants when it comes to implementation of no work no pay policy.

He emphasised that now that the lecturers had returned to work, they did not jump syllabus nor forget about their course works they did not do for the period of the strike but have to continue from where they had stopped before the strike.

He said that means their workloads and the conduct of examinations and marking of scripts amid other roles remain the same, hence their salaries must also be paid in full.

He said After all, ASUU was not the cause of the strike in the first instance, but the government that failed to meet up with its responsibilities.

He said does it mean that government wants to kill workers unionism by this its action on campuses, noting that such dream can never come to reality.

He therefore cautioned the Federal Government to take it softly with ASUU members and pay them their withheld salaries so as no to plunge the public universities back into another round of crisis.

He said it was only in atmosphere of permanent peace that quality teaching and learning can take place and government should always strive towards such.

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