Oyo tertiary institutions staff to suspend strike
THE striking staff of five tertiary institutions owned by the Oyo state government will today hold various congresses where members are expected to reach a consensus to suspend their 15 weeks old industrial action.
Union executives will put forward to their members the resolve by the governing councils of the institutions 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 remains pending.
At series of meetings held last week, the governing councils had asked 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 25 percent to prevent continued accumulation of salary arrears.
Going by the commitment of the governing councils, staff unions of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, on Monday, agreed to suspend their strike thereby setting the tone for congresses of other institutions holding today.
Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, confirmed the strike suspension to Nigerian Tribune.
Representatives of the state government, governing councils and labour had at its meeting on January 31, 2018, agreed to the restoration of 100 percent staff salary effective from January 2018 and its implementation within two weeks.
Chairman, Joint Action Committee of the six tertiary institutions, Mr Babatunde Adeniyi, who confirmed that congresses would hold across the institutions, said it was up to members to decide whether the proposal of the governing councils to pay full January salary was substantial enough to suspend their strike.
He, however, said it was worrisome that the governing councils were not addressing the issue of salary arrears.
“Various unions will hold congresses between Monday and Tuesday. The new councils have proposed that starting from January 2018, they will begin payment of salaries in full and not 25 percent anymore.
“However, the governing councils are not talking about the arrears of between seven and sixteen months.
“If Congress, consider the proposition favourably, then we will know where to go from there. It is up to the congresses to agree on whether to suspend the strike or not. The Congress has the final say.
“The Oyo state government has seem not keen on jacking up the subvention but the council has said that it will look for all means possible to get funds to pay full salaries for January 2018.”
“The councils are hoping that with the payment of full January salaries, the strike will be suspended, and then they will go back to the government to ask that the subvention is jacked up,” Babatunde said.
Speaking on the development, Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo state chapter, Mr Waheed Olojede said that though there was a memorandum of understanding on the restoration of full salaries from January 2018, he said an agreement on how the outstanding arrears will be cleared was paramount.
It would also be recalled that Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the inauguration of the governing councils of the tertiary institutions had said his government was desirous of increasing the subventions as soon as its renewed efforts to enhance its revenue base began to bear fruit.