Academic and administrative activities were on Friday paralysed at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, as the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic (SSANIP) commenced an indefinite strike.
The association’s strike came barely 24 hours after a sister body, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), embarked on indefinite strike over non-payment of their allowances.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SSANIP’s action followed the expiration of an ultimatum issued to the management to pay arrears of the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS 15).
NAN reports that NASU had on Thursday embarked on indefinite strike after a peaceful protest to press home their demands on the same issue.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), LASPOTECH chapter, has also issued a seven-day ultimatum on the similar issue, which would expire next week.
NAN correspondent gathered at the polytechnic on Friday that members of SSANIP staged peaceful protest in front of the 39-year-old institution’s main gate.
It also reports that the protesters locked the gate against the institution’s rector, principal officers, workers and students for over five hours.
The protesters were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as: “Sogunro Must Go’’, “92 months of Waiting: Enough is Enough’’.
Addressing the protesting workers, Mr Awoyemi Abiodun, the chairman, SSANIP-LASPOTECH, said that the strike would be “total, comprehensive and indefinite’’.
Abiodun said the Lagos State Government had recently increased the institution’s subvention by N57 million, adding that the financial implication of the workers’ demand was N20 million.
According to him, the management promised to implement the NBTE circular after series of meetings and the Governing Council has approved that it should be implemented by May, 2016.
“The management reneged and soon began to give excuses that it would not be able to implement the policy as a result of huge overhead cost.
“This is why we are resisting the attempt to deny us of our entitlements,’’ he said.
In his reaction, Mr Olanrewaju Kuye, the Deputy Registrar and Head of Information Unit of LASPOTECH, told newsmen that the workers’ demands were not captured in the 2016 budget.
Kuye said that the rector had met with the state government officials to discuss the issue and they directed that a letter be written by the unions so that the expenses could be included in the 2017 budget.
“The state government increased our subvention from N153 million to N210 million monthly; our salary bill is about N230 million, with increased subvention, the management will need to augment the money by N20 million.
“The total amount of arrears when calculated is N1.7 billion, and with the economic recession in the country, it will be difficult for government to release such huge money,’’ he said.
He appealed to the workers to be patient with the management and embrace dialogue, assuring them that their demands would be reflected in the 2017 budget.