Workers’ protest grounds activities in Plateau poly

Workers’ protest grounds activities in Plateau poly


Activities at the Plateau State Polytechnic located in Heipang Community, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, were on Tuesday, grounded following protests by hundreds of Ad hoc workers of the institution

It was learnt that the protests which started on Monday also paralysed activities at the Jos Campus of the institution.

The workers who gathered on Tuesday at the two campuses blocked the entrance gates with heavy stones and prevented movement into the school premises

Some of the aggrieved workers told The NAIJABLOG in Jos on Tuesday that the protest was an opportunity to bring the attention of the government and other relevant agencies to the alleged injustice and unfair treatment which they had suffered in the institution for the past years.

They vowed to continue the protests if their demands were not met.

One of the aggrieved workers, Janet Habila, said, “Do you know that some of us have not been paid our monthly stipends for the past 16 months? Some of us have served the polytechnic for more than 20 years as Ad hoc staff. They promised to consider us as permanent staff when the government lifted the embargo on employment but they did not consider us during the recent recruitment by the government.

“To make matters worse, many of us have been given letters of disengagement even when they are still owing us. Is this fair? We can’t take this anymore. So, we have resolved to continue with the protests until the management and the government treat us as human beings.”

But the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr John Dawan, who briefed journalists concerning the protests denied maltreating the workers.

Dawan said, on the contrary, his administration had done a lot to address the issues raised by the workers and appealed to them to allow peace to reign in the institution.

The Rector said, “It’s not true that workers were being owed 26 months salaries. As a matter of fact, I inherited 16 months unpaid salaries when I became the Rector of the polytechnic. But as we speak, we have only 13 months left and efforts are ongoing to offset the remaining ones.

“When employment was being done, the polytechnic was given about 202 chances to employ. And out of the number, we appropriated 30 per cent to the Ad hoc workers. It was not enough and I also used my position as the Rector to reach out to the Head of Service and he graciously added 50 more to them in addition to the 10 per cent given to the host community where most of the Ad hoc staff come from. So, their interests were taken care of during the recruitment exercise.”

He said some of the Ad hoc staff were quite over-aged “and they are saying we should take their children. The internally generated revenue is still a challenge and we decided to give a temporary disengagement pending when the situation is addressed to avoid further accumulation.”

“They should try to understand the management. We are not bad as some people would want to paint it because we have been working round the clock to ensure that things work well,” he said.

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