From Isaac Job, Uyo

Workers of the Federal Polytechnic, Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, on Friday commenced a seven days warning strike with a protest walk round the school premises to press for their demands.

The workers started the protest after a brief congress meeting held at the institution’s TEFfund auditorium where they expressed disappointment over management’s poor handling of their demands which include non-payment of 38% balance of salary shortfall, non-payment of promotion arrears, forceful conversion of staffs among others.

Rising from the congress, the protesters matched straight to the Rector’s office, displaying placards and chanting solidarity songs, while calling for full implementation of their demands

Some inscriptions on the placards read ” SSANIP says no to unnecessary transfer of members, ‘no to forceful conversion of staffs’, ‘pay us our 38 per cent balance salary shorfful (2016–2018)’, ‘pay us our correct salary placement arrears (2015-2018) and other demands.”

Speaking while addressing the protesters, chairman of SSANIP, Federal Polytechnic, Ukana chapter Mr Tamunosiki Daka, said they were not out to fight anybody but to demands for their welfare.

He expressed disappointment that management has been paying deaf ears to all issues of the association including the personnel salaries shortfalls since 2015 despite frequent reminder.

“Please let it be on record that, I the chairman of the SSANIP Federal Polytechnic, Ukana, is not fighting anybody, I was not elected to fight anybody, I was not elected to look into the affairs of anybody outside that of SSANIP.

“SSANIP welfare is my topmost priority and how can we talk about welfare without them giving us our arrears of what they are owing us over the years from 2015-date.

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“We have been crying for salary shortfalls and they think we don’t know what we are doing. We made a case for this issue when the visitation panel came here and they promised to get back to us but up till date nothing has happened.

“We have met the management but they did not give any concrete reason for us not to go on this strike; we wrote the the acting Rector but she did not attain to us until the present Rector, Dr Uduak Ndaeyo now attended to us, but even at that, no concrete answer was given to us.

“Nothing to hold back to the Congress and now congress said our ultimatum of 7 days stands and the rules of engagement is that before you embark on any industrial action you must inform management 21 days, 14 days and 7 days of which we have done.

“We have been begging for the past six months. How would you tell me that appointing a teaching staff into the position of ICT is a right decision?’

“By Monday no office will be opened in this place, we are going to shut down every office, including that of the Rector’Daka threatened.

Daka also called on President Bola Tinubu to use his good offices to investigate the personnel salaries of the Institution from 2015-date

He said “We want to call on the President to investigate all personnel salaries from 2015-date when we migrated to IPPIS platform because they are claiming that they paid us all the shortfalls to 100% but uptil now no one has seen anything.

However despite taking the protest to the Rector’s door step , he refused to either come out to address them or send representative.

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