Three staff unions of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State have suspended their industrial actions in honour of the newly-inaugurated Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The unions – Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) – had embarked on strike over non-payment of salaries and controversial upgrading of the polytechnic by the immediate past administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
This came as the management of the institution announced Thursday, June 6, for resumption of full academic activities.
The decision to suspend the industrial action was conveyed in separate communiqués issued at the end of unions’ respective congresses.
Both NASU and SSANIP have been on strike for the past four weeks while ASUP had declared a work-to-rule for the same period.
Both NASU and SSANIP said they decided, after their congresses held on June 3, 2019, to suspend the strike in honour of the new governor and open fresh window of negotiation for their agitations.
In the NASU communiqué signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Kola Sopade and Jide Adeleye, the union called on Abiodun to urgently address the five months unpaid salary of its members.
It stressed that the intervention of the new administration was required to rescue its members who could not meet up with their financial obligation any more.
The communiqué reads in part: “The union, among other things, call on the governor to, as a matter of urgency, quickly come to the rescue of the staff of the institution who are being owed five months salaries due to the past administration’s unpopular decision to upgrade MAPOLY to a University of Science and Technology.
“We hereby plead with the governor to rescue the workers by clearing the backlog of five months salaries and re-instate MAPOLY to her old status.”
In its own communiqué signed by Olawunmi Musbau and Adeboye Oluyinka, Chairman and Secretary of SSANIP respectively, the union said Abiodun’s “charming and future-promising inaugural speech” rekindled the hope of its members to suspend the strike.
The union directed all members to resume work on Thursday “with the hope that the new governor will urgently attend to the issues of unpaid staff salaries and allowances as well as other lingering matters”.
Speaking on the matter, the ASUP Chairman, Babatunde Osifalujo, said the union was not on strike but on work-to-rule which had equally been suspended in honour of the new governor.
Osifalujo said ASUP was aware of the actions taken by the two other unions in the institution, describing it as a welcome development.
The unions have been at loggerheads with the then Amosun administration over the decision to upgrade MAPOLY to University of Science and Technology and to establish a new polytechnic in Ipokia area of the state.
Meanwhile, the announcement of resumption of academic activities followed the suspension of protracted industrial action embarked on by the staff unions of the institution.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the polytechnic, Yemi Ajibola, said in a statement, which was made available to New Telegraph that lectures would commence for the 2018/2019 academic session on Thursday across all schools and departments for fresh and returning students.
He said: “Therefore, all newly admitted students for National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes as well as returning students, who are yet to complete their registrations, are to do so without further delay.”
The management, Ajibola noted, had approved 60:40 ratio for payment of tuition fees for all categories of students.
According to him, admission process for students into the National Diploma and Higher National Diploma for 2018/2019 is still on going.