Dr Jafaru Buraimah, the Acting Rector of Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo, has appealed to the striking unions to call off their strike in the interest of the institution.
Briamoh, made the plea when he briefed newsmen in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo on the impasse between the management of the institution and the unions.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (NASUP) embarked on indefinite strike on Feb. 6.
The unions were demanding that the institution’s management should enrol members on “CONTISS 15 Migration Salary Structure for Level 11 downward, promotion arrears and alledged indebetdeness of N1.8billion owed the unions.
“I am appealing to them that they should go and resume their official duties so that the system can function normally.
“I don’t think it is proper for the polytechnic primary school and secondary school to be locked up, students of the polytechnic are denied their lectures.
“I don’t think it is proper; so, I appeal to the workers, the unions in the polytechnic to please call off the strike and let academic activities resume normally,” he said.
Buraimah said that the management could no longer fund the CONTISS 15 Migration salaries for level 11 downward, adding that it had no cash backing from the Federal Government.
He said that management had been using its internally generated revenue to pay workers’ salaries, adding that the attitude was no longer sustainable.
“On the issue of CONTISS 15 Migration for level 11 downward, management migrated staffs of grade level 11 downward, and management started payment of their CONTISS 15 migration from internally generated revenue.
“The use of the internally generated revenue for CONTISS 15 Migration is what led to the accumulation of management indebtedness to the unions,” he said.
Buraimah said that the school management was indebted to tune of N868.7 million to the unions, adding that the alleged claim of N1.8 billion by the union was untrue.
“I have decided to address you this morning and to correct the misinformation that have been spread around about the true position of Auchi polytechnic.
“For the purpose of clarity and for the need of information on the level of Auchi poly management indebtedness to the union and association of Auchi polytechnic, I hereby announce that the total accumulated indebtedness is N868.7 million and not billion.
“And this money does not just accumulate within my one year of administration, the accumulation started from the past administration, and off course my administration added to it,” he said.
Buraimah said that the institution’s management had set up a committee to work out the modalities of the gradual refund of the money to the unions and associations on campus.
The acting rector added the management was working in line with the Federal Government to ensure that the promotion arrears for staff of the institution were paid.
“Promotion arrears of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 I hereby announce that this are issues that are being address by the Federal Government and once they are resolved, decision is passed down for implementation, then we will implement,” he said.