The Federal Government has given  legitimate reason for the suspension of the implementation of the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS) 15-Grade level for polytechnic lecturers and asked the workers for understanding.

The suspension of the implementation of CONTISS 15 by the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, earlier approved by the Federal Government, has sparked off fresh crisis in the institutions, with the workers threatening to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from tomorrow.

But the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Olu Lipede, said the CONTISS 15 was suspended because of wrong implementation.

The staff unions threatening strike are: Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-non Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (NASU).

Lipede said the Federal Government discovered from the initial implementation of the new salary structure that the guidelines were flouted by the authorities of the institutions.

He explained that a number of lecturers who were not due for the scheme were brought on board, disclosing that the Federal Government had accordingly constituted an Inter-ministerial verification committee, which has representatives of the unions to carry out staff audit to know who is qualified for the CONTISS 15.

He added that the suspension was pending till the outcome of the verification committee that would could carry out a comprehensive staff to weed out those not qualified to migrate to CONTISS 15.

According to him, government had made useful progress in the dialogue with the leadership of the staff unions of Polytechnics and that government had addressed most of the demands of the unions.

He described as unwarranted the alleged threat to resume the suspended strike by the workers, saying the Federal Government had been in talks with the leadership of the unions and had been briefed on various stages of implementation of some of their demands.

Lipede said, as part of the continuous dialogue on the implementation of agreement reached with the unions, the Minister of Education, Mallam Shekarau, would hold a crucial meeting with the leaders of the staff unions of the public Polytechnics today (Tuesday).

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