South West university technologists back moves to embark on strike

Members of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAATS), South West zone have on Wednesday, supported the moves by the national body of the group to embark on an indefinite strike.

The national body of NAAT had threatened a strike action over what it called the non-implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2009.

The national leadership of NAAT, had on February 28, issued a two-week ultimatum, asking the Federal Government to address all the union’s grievances on or before March 14.

Rising from its zonal executive committee meeting held at the NAAT secretariat, at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, NAAT members in the South West said they are battle-ready to join the proposed nationwide indefinite strike, unless their demands were met.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Coordinator, Joseph Olurinde, said the South West zone has eleven-point demands from the Federal Government, saying all the demands must be met to avert the looming indefinite strike.

Olurinde said, “We are compelled as the zonal executives members of the National Association of Academic Technologists in South West States of Nigeria to issue this press release to further alert the public on the imminent drifts of the Nigeria tertiary educational system, most especially the university system into a state of total collapse.

“The South west ZEC members noted with dismay the federal government’s continued insensitivity to the genuine demands and agitations of members of NAAT over many burning issues in the area of repositioning of the laboratories, workshops and studios in Nigerian public universities to meet up with the realities on ground.

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“A situation where we are still using laboratories built during Pa Awolowo era with a capacity of 30 to 40 students to conduct practical sessions for over 300 students at a go is uncalled for.

“Despite all these, the government still neglects the welfare of our members which can no longer be tolerated.”

Speaking on the situation of laboratories, workshops and studios in the tertiary institutions, Olurinde lamented the high rate of their conversion into classrooms.

NAAT, therefore, called on government and all critical stakeholders to as a matter of urgency put a halt to the menace because Laboratories, workshops and studios are the incubation rooms for innovations, technological advancements and developments

“NAAT South-West ZEC members therefore call on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to go back to the round table and resolve the trade disputes on ground, not only with ASUU but with all the trade unions in the university system.

“NAAT embarking on strike will not only affect students and parents but will also lead to colossal economic loss on the part of government and would definitely return the system to zero level because all the teaching and research specimens, samples and others within our care and monitoring would go for it, hence the major reason NAAT is usually reluctant to embark on strike,” he submitted.

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