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ASUP Rejects New Salary Subvention Policy For State Owned Polytechnics In Delta

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the new salary subvention policy for state owned polytechnics in the state

Lists Demands, Issues 30-Day Ultimatum

By Daniel Dafe

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has said that “following the refusal of the state government to review its position on the salary subvention policy for the state-owned polytechnics in Ogwashi-uku and Otefe-Oghara, after several correspondence and meetings involving the local chapters of the Union, managements of the polytechnics and the officials of government, it has become very imperative that this issue be brought to the public domain.”

Rejecting the new salary subvention policy for state owned polytechnics in the state, Zonal Coordinator (South-South & South-East) ASUP, Comrade Precious Nwakodo, while briefing journalists on Thursday at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-uku, recalled that in April 2022, “the Delta State Government introduced a salary subvention policy which provides that the managements of the polytechnics contribute not less than ten percent (10%) of the total monthly wage bill of all staff in their employment while the government takes care of the other percentage.”

Adding: “To the undiscerning mind, this policy may appear logical and in line with best practices; but the reality is that this policy will, and has already started having serious adverse consequences on tertiary education in the state.”

He continued: “As a responsible Union, we are duty bound to raise alarm over the ills that this policy has started to birth, while rejecting same and calling on the state government to immediately take a second look at the policy with a view to stopping its continued implementation in order to arrest these ills that had already began to manifest in these two polytechnics.”

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According to him, the negative effects of this policy are delay in payment of salaries, staff Inadequacy, imminent staff rationalization, low staff morale, low quality of education and increased cost of education, saying that “since the introduction of this policy in April 2022, staff members of the institutions now receive salaries two to three weeks into the new month.

Continuing, he said that “already, the dearth of staff has been a serious problem for the two state-owned polytechnics as the government has not been dutiful in the employment of staff since 2008 when it introduced the Central Payment System,” just as he said that “since then, resigned, retired and dismissed staff are yet to be replaced.”

This, he said “has left huge staff deficits and in response, managements of these institutions have resorted to engaging Contract, Part-time or Ad-hoc Staff to fill the gaps at their own expenses,” noting that “today, only about sixty 60 percent of staff of these polytechnics are full-time employees while others are employed on ad-hoc basis.”

Comrade Nwakodo disclosed that “even before the introduction of the salary subvention policy, the managements of the institutions were already contributing far more than ten percent to the payment of staff salaries.”

Also, he hinted that “managements are very likely to commence the downsizing of staff strength of their institutions so as to be able to pay salaries.”

“As at today, no staff of the two polytechnics has started enjoying the financial benefits of 2021 promotions and the reasons are obvious. Worse still, is the fact that the government of the state has sworn not to pay promotion arrears,” he said.

Speaking further, the ASUP boss said that with the subvention policy, Delta State is likely to lose the quality of teaching and learning these institutions are known for.

“Apart from breeding a crop of demotivated and depleted staff, learning resources like laboratories, workshops and classrooms will begin to suffer,” he added.

ASUP opined that “to survive the payment of salaries, these institutions would be forced to hike tuition fees and other charges as well as introduce other new fees.”

“With today’s economic reality, not many parents can afford more to keep their wards in school. This will assuredly lead to a drastic drop in students’ enrolment. And in turn bring about a drop in internally generated revenue; thereby making it more difficult to pay salaries and the circle goes on,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration has 30 days to meet their demands which are the reinstatement of 7% Academic Staff Peculiar Allowance, payment of Promotion Arrears as part of staff salary, domestication of the 2019 Federal Polytechnics Act and an improved Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.

“A reversal of this policy is the right thing to do and it is in the best interest of the government and people of Delta State especially at this time of electioneering politics in Nigeria,” he averred.

Executive members of the union also present during the press briefing include the Chairman, Ogwashi-uku, Comrade Iwozu Joseph Iwezu; Chairman, Otefe-Oghara, Comrade Henry Obeh; Vice Chairman, Ogwashi-uku, Philomena Omodafe; Welfare Secretary, Otefe-Oghara, Comrade Enaghinor Lucky Akpoveta; General Secretary, Otefe-Oghara, Comrade Atumah Progress and General Secretary, Ogwashi-uku, Comrade Okonji Franklin.

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