LASPOTECH TRADE DISPUTE: Rector, School Management Appeal For Unions Understanding
-No Union is on strike, says PRO.
Kunle Adelabu with Boluwatife Hassan (SIWES Student)
“The Rector has the interests of the staff at heart and would meet their demands whenever the financial situation of the school improves”
These were the words of Mr Lanre Kuye, the Deputy Registrar (Information)/Public Relations officer, Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, while reacting to the threat of the school unions to declare strike action over disagreement with the management over failure to implement Migration Scheme agreement. The school information officer spoke with THE IMPACT crew led by its Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, Kunle Adelabu that met him in his office on Monday, August 15, 2016.
While admitting that there was an agreement in principle with the management since the tenure of the immediate past Rector, Mr Abdul-Azeez Lawal, he added that the current dire economic situation in the country has presently made it impossible for the management to meet the demands of the unions.
“The agitation for the payment of the Migration Scheme from the lower CONTISS to 11 has been on since the tenure of former Rector and there was an agreement that whenever the financial situation of the school, especially the subvention from the state government to the school improves, the school is going to start the payment as related to migrating the staff from the lower cadre to 11 because those in the upper cadre cannot be migrated again”
“Sincerely, the government increased its subvention to the school which has improved the school’s financial situation but not to our expectations as we still require over N20million every month to pay the Migration Scheme. And the present economic situation is not in any way helping our situation” Mr Kuye lamented.
Reacting to the allegation by the unions that the Rector and other senior members of the management from CONTISS 11 – 15 have been benefitting from the Migration Scheme for about three years, the PRO stated,
“That was the Federal Government approved Migration which has been on since 2009 for the CONTISS 11-12, 12-13 and 14 -15, which made those in these categories not due for migration again except those below.
The Rector is concerned about the Unions’ agitation especially their general welfare and has held several meetings with their representatives. Even when the agitation persisted, the Rector again met with the general members in a town hall meeting on Friday, August 12, 2016, to explain the situation to them. He did not only explained the financial situation but also appealed for their understandings and pledged to start effecting the payment once the financial situation improves”
The school image maker also debunked the allegations that the unions were prevented from holding their congresses in the school theatre halls as alleged by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP).
“Sincerely speaking, the Rector is a very understanding person as well as other members of the school management. They are aware of the implication of opposing such simple request if it had been made. We are all important members of this institution and no member can be denied or prevented from using the school facilities if proper request was made. Out of the three unions, only Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) officially requested for the use of the school facilities and they were granted. In the case of NASU which was granted the use of the 700 seater hall, when it was discovered that it was been used for the conference marking, the Rector directed that the hall should be vacated for the union use.
The School publicist, who is also a member of SSANIP, added that despite the embarrassment the SSANIP open gathering caused the management, the matter has been amicably resolved but stated that things should be done procedurally in subsequent time.
Mr Kuye also denied that any union is on strike while stating that the management is still working round-the-clock to appeal to the staff and make them see reasons on their position.
“There is no union on strike, though we are still working seriously to make them understand that the management position is the true picture of the school current financial standing. The Rector has no reason to deny them their due. Currently, members of the Academic Union of Polytechnics, LASPOTECH Chapter, are on annual leave.
After meeting with the Public Relations officer, THE IMPACT team went round the school and witnessed workers (non-teaching) going about their duties peacefully while students were also seen on school premises.
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