ASUP, SSANIP begin indefinite strike in Cross River over salaries

Ben Ayade, Cross River State governor

Members of two labour unions in the College of Health Technology Calabar (COHTECH) on Tuesday began an indefinite strike over the suspension of salary structures.

The Unions, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) were protesting the suspension of the implementation of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Salary Structure (CONPCASS) and the Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS) since November, 2019.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Etim Okon said it was unfortunate that things had to take this turn because they, as Union had exhausted every, means possible before they decided to embark on an indefinite strike to press home their demand.

In his words, “We discovered that the CONPCASS and CONTEDISS structure we only started enjoying in 2018 was all of a sudden suspended for no reason without notice whatsoever.

“We approached the Head of Service and Special Adviser Labour to find out what the problem was with a view to resolving the matter but every attempt to rectify this unjust suspension of a salary structure which was only implemented in 2018 was stopped last year November.

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“It will interest the public to know that the structure was approved in2011, signed into law in 2013 but we only started benefiting from it in 2018 which means fir five years we never enjoyed it.

“To our greatest dismay it was again suspended in November 2018, we only enjoyed it for one year. We want to appeal to governor Ben Ayade to please expedite action on the matter and do the needful.

“We know that the state has a huge financial burden, we are not asking for the five years arrears but all we ask for the continued implementation of CONPCASS and CONTEDISS because we have suffered enough.

“We are the only College of Health in this part to run ND and HND and we are the only ones that mobilise students for NYSC, so it is disheartening for us to be treated this way, we are not pushovers, we impact knowledge in the health sector and you know what that means.”

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