Oyo :Okeogun Poly, other tertiary institutions suspend 14 weeks old strike.
The Public servants in the Oyo State tertiary Institutions on Tuesday have suspended their industrial action which commenced on November 3, 2017, with the caveat that they will resume normal academic activities when they receive the promised full January 2018 salary.
In what they described as a reluctant suspension and in respect for their various governing councils, members of the various staff unions at their congresses held on Tuesday, prayed that promised restoration of 100 percent salary effective January 2018 be implemented while funds are released to clear salary arrears of between seven and seventeen months.
Chairman, Joint Action Committee of the six tertiary institutions, Mr Babatunde Adeniyi, who confirmed the suspension of the strike, said the immediate release of funds was essential else members will not hesitate to activate the suspended strike.
It would be recalled that the governing councils, a series of meetings held last week, pleaded with the unions to suspend their strike for them to once again meet with the Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the need to jack up subventions from the current 25 percent to prevent continued accumulation of salary arrears.
The governing councils had only promised to effect the restoration of 100 percent salary effective January 2018, though the issue of how to clear the salary arrears of between seven and sixteen months remained pending.
Speaking further with Nigerian Tribune, Babatunde decried that members were indebted to various degrees and struggled to live up to their financial responsibilities to their various families.
He, therefore, urged the governing council and state government to release the adequate funds to not only ensure that tertiary institutions’ staff live responsible lives but also to prevent another industrial crisis.
“The unions in the institutions have held their congresses and decided to suspend the strike to honour the governing councils hoping that the Oyo state government will release funds to clear the arrears of between seven to seventeen months owed workers of the six tertiary institutions in the state.
“We pray that the restoration of 100 percent salary promised is implemented and they release funds for the payment of arrears. That is the basis of the suspension.
“Our members were not happy; they reluctantly agreed to suspend the strike. They only agreed to suspend the strike since the governing councils had put their honour and integrity in line to ensure that the government does not renege on their promise of continuous 100 percent payment as at when due.
“Many of us owe a lot of people; we owe rent, school fees and can’t survive without being given these arrears. Anytime government fails to abide by the agreement of quick payment of the arrears and continuous payment, we will not hesitate to resume the suspended strike.
We have not received any money but only suspended the strike with the hope that we will receive the promised money.”
“Our suspension will be effective when we receive the payment alert for January 2018. We have suspended but will only resume when we receive the alert for the promised 100 percent January 2018 salary alert.
The school will open but normal academic activities will not until receive that promised January salary alert,” Babatunde said.
The strike action had stalled academic and non-academic activities at 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, for about 14 weeks.