Academic activities at The Polytechnic Ibadan were paralysed this morning as workers embarked on an indefinite strike to protest non-implementation of the new minimum wage by the Oyo state government.
Mega Icon Magazine reliably gathered that at a general meeting of academic and non-academic staff convened by a Joint committee of all Staff Unions, on Monday, it was reiterated that the governing council, and by extension Oyo state government has repeatedly refused to implement the minimum wage for workers in the citadel of learning.
The Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), The Polytechnic Ibadan chapter, Abiodun Abegunde, who lauded the workers for their steadfastness so far, noted that the issue must be fought to a logical conclusion.
The SSANIP chairman explained that several efforts have been employed to resolve the impasse, but to no avail.
Speaking further, Abegunde noted that the wage structure being demanded by the Unions is even lower than that being enjoyed by sister institutions in other states.
Also commenting, the Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, Ibrahim Akande said the Governing Council itself was incapacitated by the overreaching activities of the Consultant.
Akande wondered why the management was willing to follow a directive from the NBTE to lock down the school, but unwilling to implement the wage structure approved by the same NBTE.
The representative of academic staff, Nurudeen Akinade, in his remarks, alleged that the activities of the consultant is a clear negation of the edict setting up the institution and asked that such be rejected outrightly.
He noted that no form of sabotage would prevent the achievements of the demands.
Workers, who spoke at the meeting agreed that they had endured enough and it seemed the state government had taken their patience as cowardice.
A motion for a strike action was thereby moved and seconded. It was emphasized that the strike was total and comprehensive, and no worker is exempted as essential services, till the government accedes to the demands.
LAUTECH ownership: Oyo to pay N8 billion to Osun in 3 years as asset sharing agreement
Oyo state government has approved the payment of the sum of N8 billion to Osun State government as an asset sharing agreement, a follow-up to the earlier agreement reached between Oyo and Osun state governments on the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
The approval, which was conveyed by the Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, would be paid in three installments spread over a period of three years.
According to a statement signed by Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Education, Olaleye disclosed this while briefing journalists shortly after the Executive Council meeting held at the Governor’s Office.
“As a follow-up to the agreement reached with the Osun State government on the issue of sole ownership of LAUTECH, the Executive Council of Oyo State approved today the payment of the sum of N8 billion to Osun State government. It will be paid over a period of three years.
“The breakdown of the payment goes as follows: one (1) billion Naira will be paid in January 2021 and another one (1) billion Naira will be paid in December 2021. Three (3) billion Naira will be paid in 2022 and the last three (3) will be paid in 2023. This was the decision of the council today”, the commissioner explained.
School Resumption Remains January 18th – FG Insists
Despite fears over the surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the federal government has insisted that the January 18th resumption date for schools in the country remains intact.
The Federal Ministry of Education, in a statement issued on Thursday by its Director, Press and Public Relations, Ben Bem Goong submitted, “After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry explained that all schools and parents must ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of face masks, social distancing among others.
The ministry continued, “These measures which are to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review as we urge teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance”.
It will be recalled that earlier in the week, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had hinted that it would review the resumption date (January 18th, 2020) for learning institutions in the country, citing the rising COVID-19 infections in Africa’s most populous nation.
Ibadan Poly authorities dialogue with union leaders to resume
Authorities of The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI) on Tuesday engaged the leaders of the striking workers of the institution in a marathon peace meeting that lasted about two and a half hours hoping for an early resolution of the strike action.
The meeting presided over by Professor Kunle Akinyemi, the Chairman of the Governing Council at the Board of Studies Chamber was attended by three other members of the Council and members of the Management which included the Rector, Professor Kazeem Adekunle Adebiyi, and the Registrar, Mrs Modupe Theresa Fawale.
Also, the meeting was attended by the representatives of the Senior Staff, the Non- Academic Staff and the Academic Staff.
During the meeting, the unions further reiterated their demands to which the Chairman of the Governing Council pleaded for time and understanding in the management and resolution of the issues at stake.
The Chairman appealed to the workers in the first instance to allow the students to complete the on-going first semester examination and also unlock the gates leading to the Institution for easy accessibility by the Public and other stakeholders having transactions within The Institution.
The Unions showed understanding and cooperation with the intentions of early resolution of the crisis.
It will be recalled that the workers commenced an industrial action on Monday, which has disrupted all activities including the on-going first semester examination over the issue of payment of minimum wage by the Institution.
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