The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State has declared an indefinite strike over the non-payment of 10 months salary arrears.
The union is also protesting the alleged neglect of the institution by the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration.
At a news conference held at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State, the ASUP Chairman, Mr Rafiu Ijawoye, said the institution can no longer bear the inglorious state of neglect and deprivation of its legitimate demands.
â€œIt is in view of these appaling situations that the union is constrained to embark on this total strike action as aforesaid and demand as follows:
â€œPayment of our 16 months CONPOCASS arrears by the management of the institution effective from July 2009 (it should be noted that all sister institutions within the state have been paid this arrears aside RUGIPO).
â€œPayments of 10 months unpaid staff salaries for the months of June 2016 to January 2017 as well as July and August 2017; payments of 2015 and 2016 promotion arrears; total compliance with court order in respect of ASUP members that suffered political persecution from the former administration through non-payment of their outstanding salaries of reinstated acedemic staff.â€
The union also lamented the decaying infrastructure, abandonment of ongoing projects, inadequate lecture rooms, acute shortage of accommodation and non-availability of seats in the lecture rooms. â€œWe have a situation where students have to remain on their feet during lectures. As a matter of fact, the situation becomes more worrisome during examinations when students virtually sit on themselves.â€
Ijawoye explained that the most annoying thing was that despite owing 10 months salaries arrears, the institution has embarked in surreptitious employment.
He alleged that within 14 days, over 50 persons had been employed under the guise that it was done on the instruction of the governor.
â€œThis therefore is suggestive of deliberate financial strangulation and misrepresentation of the true financial position of the institution by the management.â€
The union also raised the alarm over the possibility of deaccrediting all the programmes being offered by the polytechnic.
â€œAs it stands, all programmes being offered by the polytechnic are due for accreditation and are under the threat of being deaccredited due apparently to deliberate starvation of funds.â€