Staff unions of the six tertiary institutions owned by the Oyo state government have declared an indefinite strike starting today (Friday) over unpaid salaries of 15 months’ salary and payment of fractional salary.
This followed the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum on Thursday, November 2, 2017, where they had threatened to withdraw their services should the state government not clear all outstanding arrears and restore 100 per cent salary payment.
Chairman, Joint Action Committee of all staff unions across the institutions, Mr Babatunde Adeniyi confirmed to Tribune Online that management of all the institutions had been served with notification of declaration of strike commencing Friday.
The strike action is to be preceded by local protest in the concerned institutions: The Polytechnic, Ibadan; Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology; The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa; The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; College of Education, Lanlate.
“We have declared our strike as our ultimatum lapses 12 midnight today (Thursday). So, effective from tomorrow (Friday) our members are withdrawing their services. We will start with a protest in all the institutions in the state, starting by 8am.”
“All institutions have served their management with notification of declaration of a strike. Our demands remain payment of 15 months’ salary and restoration of 100 per cent salary payment. We get 25 per cent and payment of fractional salary is illegal. The government has failed to meet our demands. The management’s meeting with the state government on Thursday was not fruitful,” Adeniyi said.
Speaking on the development, State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela said Governor Abiola Ajimobi was scheduled to meet with the management of the institutions on Friday.
Noting that the state government was aggregating findings on the situation from one institution to the other, Olowofela said the state would come up with a practical solution to the crisis soon., While adding that the state did not owe 15 months across all institutions, he appealed to the unions to tarry a while and pursue dialogue for the strike to be called off faster.
“We appeal to them to be patient and not go on strike for at least the next one week as we work on solutions. The governor will meet with the heads of the concerned tertiary institutions today (Friday).”
“I have had some interactions with the institutions’ heads to hear their demands. We have also scheduled a meeting with the Nigerian Labour Congress for next Tuesday. By the time we aggregate all our findings, we will come up with a practicable solution.”
“We know the quantum of money involved which differs from one institution to the other. There is no month we don’t pay some money to the institutions but they vary. For example, the Polytechnic Ibadan has paid fully for last year and has paid more than 75 per cent from January till March this year.”
“We want to see how we take care of the welfare of our people without injury to the people that are concerned.
Statistically, the government is subsiding each polytechnic student about N200,000 per session. We are looking at the possibility of resolving the crisis early enough. When we dialogue, issues can be resolved easily and faster,” Olowofela said.