Staff of state-owned tertiary institutions begin three-day warning strike in Oyo

Academic and other activities will take place in tertiary state institutions in Oyo State as academic and non-academic staff under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions in tertiary state institutions will today, Wednesday, May 29, 2024, embark on a three-day warning strike to to reinforce government demands.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) of trade unions, comprising the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), representing The Polytechnic Ibadan, The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic (TOPS) Saki, Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic (AOP) Eruwa, Oyo State College of Education (OYSCOED) Lanlate and Oyo State College of Agricultural Technology (OYSCATECH) Igboora have announced that the three-day warning strike will take place from Wednesday, May 29, 2024 to Friday, May 31, 2024.

In a statement signed by JAC Secretary Akin Adekanbi and made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the unions noted that the three-day warning strike was necessitated by extensive discussions and numerous deadlines given to the government through the government of Oyo State had been imposed. Ministry of Education, noting that no substantive resolutions have been reached.

The statement reads in parts: “The Joint Congress first issued a 21-day ultimatum on January 31, 2024, followed by a 14-day notice on March 11, 2024, and another seven-day ultimatum on May 10, 2024.

“Each ultimatum was followed by meetings with the Ministry of Education, but the issues remain unresolved. The last three-day notice was issued on May 23, 2024, culminating in 114 days without a government decision. On May 27, 2024, a meeting with the Ministry of Education again failed to produce any concrete solutions, leaving the JAC with no choice but to initiate the warning strike.

“The demands under discussion are: 1. Implementation of a 25/35% salary increase: The JAC is dismayed by the government’s lack of commitment to implement the 25/35% salary increase, which has already started strength at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology – LAUTECH (due to their financial autonomy and robust IGR approved by the government) since February 2024.

“This discrimination against staff at colleges and universities of applied sciences is unacceptable. The treatment meted out to our sector makes us play second fiddle in the scheme of things in the tertiary education sector of Oyo State. Apart from LAUTECH and other universities highly favored by the government for their improved IGR (no deduction of 10% of their revenue by consultants and a highly proportionate tuition fee system), there is no Polytechnic or College of Education in Oyo State that has the new can implement. salary increase without government funding.

“We demand the immediate implementation of this 25/35% increase and the payment of arrears from January 2023. 2. Platinum Consultant: The activities of the Platinum Consultant have become a financial burden, causing 10% of the internally generated revenue of our institutions are being transferred. The money that should have been used for academic obligations will be deducted by the said advisor.

“The financial autonomy of the institutions had been eroded against best practices, making the system inefficient and ineffective in meeting the demand of an educational institution. This practice must end immediately. Notably, all universities in the state – Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, Oyo and Abiola Ajimobi First Technical University, Ibadan were exempted from this scheme, highlighting discriminatory practices against the Polytechnic and College of Education in the state .

“3. Salary increase: The current salary increase policy is unsustainable and detrimental to the effective service delivery of our institutions. Schools use a significant portion of their internally generated revenue (IGR) to increase salaries of their staff, making it difficult to meet essential services and demands of academic institutions. The Oyo State Government must provide full subsidies to end this debilitating practice.

“4. Manpower Shortage and Disability: There is a serious shortage of both teaching and non-teaching staff within our institutions, with many departments functioning with a minimum academic staff of between 1 and 3 staff. Our Polytechnics and Colleges of Education now rely heavily on temporary staff for teaching and administrative roles. Some of these temporary staff tagged ‘Teaching Assistants’ have contributed their efforts, energy and academic qualifications to the education, accreditations and assessment of our institutions for many years.

“These temporary employees within the institutions should be regularized as permanent employees to ensure dedication and improved service delivery in accordance with the requirements of regulatory authorities. The stagnant non-academic staff (cleaners and gardeners) at OYSCOED, Lanlate for many years needs to be regularised.

“5. Boards of Directors: The unconstitutional and irregular tenure of the boards of directors, about a year after they were dissolved, hinders policy decisions and promotions in our institutions. Immediate action is required to constitute these councils with immediate effect for efficient functioning and management of our institutions.

“6. 2018/2019 arrears of salaries: The non-payment of 2018/2019 arrears of salaries at OYSCOED, Lanlate, OYSCATECH, Igboora and EAUED, Oyo is aggravating the financial woes of the staff. These payment arrears must be settled without delay.

“7. Promotion 2023: The lack of promotion letters for 2023 to senior employees of our institutions due to the lack of a Board of Directors is inexcusable. The government should immediately constitute the councils or authorize the Honorable Commissioner for Education to approve the promotions.

“We call on the amiable Executive Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde, to intervene and ensure the immediate resolution of these issues in the interest of the tertiary education sector and in line with his development agenda. The Joint Action Committee remains committed to the progress and well-being of our institutions and hopes for a swift and positive response from the government to prevent further industrial action.”

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