Barely 24 hours after the start of an indefinite strike by the labour movement in Osun State, lecturers at the Osun State Polytechnics and the state’s Colleges of Education have declared that they will embark on an indefinite strike to protest the payment of half salaries by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
The lecturers, operating under the aegis of the Council of Academic Staff Unions of Osun State Owned Tertiary Institutions, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr. Olusegun Lana and Secretary Sikiru Folorunso and made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Thursday, declared that the strike would start on January 15, 2018.
The affected institutions are the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree; the Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke as well as the Colleges of Education in Ilesa and Ila Orangun.
The lecturers said that apart from half salary which they had been receiving for the past 27 months, some other issues compelling them to go on strike are a very high tax; unfulfilled agreement on staffing of the schools; selective reinstatement of sacked workers and contributory pensions issues among others.
They said that they gave the governor a 21-day ultimatum on November 7 and more than a month after the expiration of the ultimatum, he had not called them nor addressed the issues raised.
The lecturers also said that they had written a series of appeal letters and called for a dialogue but the governor had not responded to any of these.
The statement read, “This is to inform all members of our great unions that consequent upon the concurrent resolutions of the respective Congresses of ASUP and COEASU across the four State-owned tertiary institutions, we have issued a notice of indefinite strike action with effect from 15th January 2018
“Government has not shown any seriousness towards addressing our painful plight as we have been subjected to untold hardship, frustrations and unprecedented levels of demoralization by the harsh effects of unaddressed festering issues including, but not limited to, perpetual half salaries (now up to 27 months) which our Unions were never in agreement to; unfulfilled collective agreements on staffing and proper composition of Governing Councils; selective justice in the reinstatement of disengaged members of staff.
“Others are: withdrawn statutory benefits, namely financial effects of 2014 promotions and migration of lower cadres; pay cut through arbitrary stoppage internally sourced portions of salary, namely peculiar earned academic, hazard and medical allowances; high tax; obnoxious rank redesignation and promotion criteria; stagnation in career progression through lack of promotion; and injuriously administered contributory pension scheme just to mention a few.
“We have shown a great sense of endurance and concern for our esteemed students in whose interest this notice of strike action is even made unnecessarily long with the hope that Government would do the needful without further delay. However, in the unexpected event that the issues remain unresolved till 15th January 2018 all members of academic staffs of the four State-owned tertiary institutions shall cease work to press home our demand for justice and fairness.