Home Education Widespread Condemnation Trail The 7-Day Warning Strike Notice By JUPTI, As Hon...

Widespread Condemnation Trail The 7-Day Warning Strike Notice By JUPTI, As Hon Hitler Pwajok Makes Passionate Appeal To The Union Amidst JUPTI Optimism Of An Amicable Resolution Of Pending Issues.

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Mixed reactions have trailed the notice of a seven day warning strike issued on Thursday, 25 April 2024 by the Joint Union of Plateau State Owned Tertiary Institutions (JUPTI). The Union had in a letter signed by Yohanna S. Igyem and John M. Jilang, Chairman and Secretary respectively addressed to the Head of Service of the State dated 24th April, 2024 given Government an ultimatum effective Wednesday, 24th April, 2024 to Friday 3rd May, 2024 to meet her demands failure to do so, the Union shall embark on a 7 day warning strike.

The Union listed its demands to include “issues related to Non Payment of 2021 and 2022 Promotion Arrears, Delay in Decentralization of Salaries of Tertiary Institutions, Delay in the constitution of PLASCHEMA Board and Non Implementation of Capital Budgets in all the Tertiary institutions among other matters”

However, in what appeared to be total rejection and lack of sympathy for the strike, Parents, Students and stakeholders in Plateau State are up in arms against the union. Unlike in the past where strikes by workers and unions are widely supported and celebrated, the JUPTI seems to be on its own this time around. This strike has been seen as a self-serving and ego-massaging move by the union.

Strike Is Self Serving And Massaging Of Ego:

Speaking to www.pointblank.com.ng, a cross section of people in Jos berated the union for declaring the strike terming it massaging of ego and not serving the interest of the students and parents.

Nantok Dasplang, a 300L Computer Science Student of Plateau State University, Bokkos (PLASU) lambasted the Union saying “this union has never declared strike when students are killed like rams due to insecurity. They have never shut down the campuses and insisted on improved security to safeguard the lives of students but today they are happy to hastily declare strike because of their selfish interest. Just last week our examinations were truncated where my colleague in the department was murdered and a host of other students, this Union turned a blind eye to it but because their interest is at stake, they are destabilizing our studies. The burial of Late Dading James, a 200L student in our department who was killed by Fulani during the Chikam attack was held on Tuesday, tell me which Union official was there? These people don’t care about us”

 Another student of PLASU spoke to www.pointblank.com.ng on condition of anonymity questioned the Union’s timing of the strike. She said “the timing of the strike is also questionable, as it comes at a time when students are writing their exams and are already under a lot of pressure. This strike will only serve to disrupt our studies and cause unnecessary stress and anxiety”.

An educationist identified as Mr Noel Izang said “the union’s decision to go on strike for just 7 days seems like a half-hearted attempt to show their dissatisfaction with the government. It is unlikely that such a short strike will have any real impact on the government’s decision-making process or lead to any meaningful change. The strike will only succeed in punishing parents and students without the government feeling its impact”

A Student Union Government Leader of the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi criticized the union’s unilateral decision to declare the strike “the union’s decision to go on strike without consulting with students and other stakeholders shows a lack of consideration for the wider community. Students, parents, and other stakeholders are the ones who will be most affected by this strike, yet their voices have been ignored in the decision-making process. The Union didn’t strike in solidarity with the students because of school fees but are now threatening strike because of their interests”.

Mutfwang’s Commitment To Improving The Standard of Education Is Being Frustrated:

John Yakubu, Convener of Education For A Better Tomorrow rubbished the union. He said “over the past 16 years, no governor has made genuine commitment of improving the standard of education on the Plateau like Gov Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang. Plateau State Polytechnic for instance was depopulated due to lack of accreditation of courses and incessant strikes due to lack of prompt payment of salaries but the governor has ensured that over 30 courses were accredited and salaries are promptly paid. So why the strike?”.

“I am particularly pleased with what the Ag Rector, Dr Clement Chirman is doing. He has facilitated TETFUND Inspection for the upgrading of laboratories and equipment. As a former ASUP Chairman, I knew it was a matter of time that he turned around the fortunes of the school”

Speaking further, he said “before Prof Shedrack Gaya Best resumed, ASUU of the school was on strike but within few days, the contending issues were addressed and normal academic activities resumed in the school. So tell me what this strike seeks to achieve if not to frustrated government’s effort in an ego clash?” It is important for the union to reconsider their decision and find more constructive ways to address their grievances with the government”.

An aged parent identified as Mr Joshua Yusuf Zang whose child is to be matriculated tomorrow at Plateau State Polytechnic is already regretting sending his third child to the school. He recounted the terrible experiences of time wasting and uncertainty that surrounded the first two children who endured incessant strikes before graduating. “I vowed never to send any of my children to school in Plateau again but when I saw how committed the governor is to education, I changed my mind but these union people are making me regret my change of decision”.

He appealed to the unions to always “consider the economic reality and pains parents go through to send their children to school. Unions should find more constructive ways to address their concerns. Students and stakeholders must continue to speak out against this strike and demand a more thoughtful and inclusive approach to resolving the issues at hand”.

Governor Mutfwang Is Working Tirelessly To Address Challenges Facing Tertiary Education, Strike Is Counterproductive – Hon Hitler Joshua Pwajok

Hon Hitler Joshua Pwajok, Special Adviser to Governor Mutfwang on Youth Mobilization, Mentorship and Empowerment, appealed to the union to shelf their planned warning strike. The former SUG President University of Jos while speaking to www.pointblank.com.ng said “The declaration of a 7-day warning strike yesterday by the Joint Union of Plateau State Owned Tertiary Institutions is a concerning development that undermines the government’s concerted efforts in repositioning education in the state. This strike action comes at a time when the government has been making significant strides in improving the quality of education and ensuring that salaries are promptly paid to workers in the education sector”.

“It is important to note that the government of Plateau State led by Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang has been working tirelessly to address the challenges facing the education sector in the state. This includes investing in infrastructure, upgrading of laboratories, and ensuring that salaries are paid on time. The government has also been working to improve the quality of education in the state by implementing various reforms which with little more time they will manifest”.

“Given the government’s commitment to improving education in Plateau State, it is puzzling why the Joint Union of Plateau State Owned Tertiary Institutions has chosen to declare a warning strike at this time. This strike action not only disrupts the learning environment for students but also undermines the government’s efforts to reposition education in the state”.

Hon Pwajok argued that “it is imperative for the union to consider the impact of their actions on the education sector and the students who rely on these institutions for their education. By declaring a strike, the union is sending a message that they are not willing to work collaboratively with the government to address the challenges facing the education sector. This is not only counterproductive but also detrimental to the overall goal of improving education in Plateau State”.

Government and Union Should Work Together To Find Solution To The Issues – Dr Amos Bulus Cirfat, Former Provost, Federal College of Education, Pankshin

Dr Amos Bulus Cirfat, former Provost, Federal College of Education, Pankshin while speaking as the 13th Guest of Pointblank News Blog Interactive Session said “instead of resorting to strike action, the union should engage in constructive dialogue with the government to address their concerns and find solutions that benefit all stakeholders. By working together as a team, the government and the union can find common ground and work towards a shared vision of improving education in Plateau State”.

JUPTI Optimistic Of Amicable Resolution With The Government:

In a phone conversation with www.pointblank.com.ng, on Friday, 26 April 2024, Comrade John M. Jilang, Secretary of JUPTI said “we have not embarked on strike yet. We only issued notice of warning strike, however, we have received communication from the government to meet today and we are hopeful that the contending issues shall be resolved amicably. So therefore, we don’t want to overheat the issue by discussing further until after the meeting with the government today, Friday, 26 April 2024”

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