By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
The Lagos State Government has initiated steps to find a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) so as to enable resumption of academic activities.
It will be recalled that the three Staff Unions of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) embarked on an Industrial Action basically on the issue of CONTISS 15 Migration for Staff on CONTISS 11 and below through a Circular from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Deputy Registrar (Information and Public Relations), of the institution, Mr. Olanrewaju Kuye said the issues was being handled by the State Government, appealing to the unions to call off their strike to enable amicable resolution of their grievances.
According to Kuye, the Polytechnic commenced the implementation of the scheme in October 2016 as directed by the Office of the Special Adviser on Education (OSAE) in order to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the Institution during the strike action embarked upon by the Staff Unions of the Polytechnic on October 20, 2016.
“The issue at hand now is the Unions’ request for the payment of 87 months’ arrears (July 2009 to September 2016) which the State Government is looking into with the involvement of all the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The position of the State Government as contained in a letter dated 31st May, 2017 was communicated to the Unions through the Governing Council of the Polytechnic where the Government appealed for more time to be able to address the issue holistically. Unfortunately, the Government’s position did not go down well with the Unions as they wanted the issue resolved on or before Monday 5th June, 2017. As a result of these conflicting positions the Unions decided to embark on a fresh indefinite strike action,” Kuye said.
Explaining the recent clash between soldiers and students of the institution, Kuye said that the fresh strike infuriated the students who also mobilised themselves to demand for immediate continuation of lectures.
He said the students in the course of their agitation, had confrontation with soldiers who were on their routine patrol assignment along the road.
He said that while the soldiers were trying to remove the barricade mounted on the highway by the students, some miscreants took advantage of the situation and hijacked the protest from the students, hauling missiles at the soldiers, who responded by chasing the protesters away.
Kuye said despite the efforts being made so far, the Staff Unions are still resolute to continue with their indefinite strike action.
He said the Management of the Institution has appealed to all the Staff Unions to be patient and call off the on-going strike so as to allow Government to fully address the issue as requested.