Oyo Tertiary Schools Embark On 3-day Warning Strike

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Activities have been grounded at Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions as staff commenced three-day warning strike on Wednesday to press home their demands.
Academic and non-academic staff under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Trade Unions said they were embarking on the warning strike to press home their demands from the state government.
The workers’ union in a statement by the JAC Secretary, Akin Adekanbi stated that the three-day warning strike became necessary after exhaustive discussions and numerous deadlines issued to the state government through the Ministry of Education without substantive resolution to their demands.
The warning strike which began on Wednesday May 29 is expected to end on Friday, May 31, 2024.
The trade unions under the JAC include 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).
Its other members are Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) with affected institutions from 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.
JAC, in a statement said, “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 7-day ultimatum on May 10, 2024.
“Each ultimatum was followed by meetings with the Ministry of Education, yet the issues remain unresolved.
“The final three-day notice was issued on May 23, 2024, culminating in 114 days without a resolution from the government.
“On May 27, 2024, a meeting with the Ministry of Education again yielded no concrete resolutions, leaving the JAC with no option but to initiate the warning strike.”
Speaking on the contents of the issues requiring government attention, the union added, “The demands in contention are implementation of 25/35 per cent salary increment. The JAC is dismayed by the government’s lack of commitment to implementing the 25/35 per cent salary increment, already in effect at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) due to its financial autonomy and robust IGR approved by government) since February 2024.
“This discrimination against Polytechnic and College of Education staff is unacceptable. The treatment meted out to our sector is making us play second fiddle in the scheme of things in Oyo State tertiary Educations sector.
“Apart from LAUTECH and other universities that are highly favoured by government for improved IGR (No deductions of 10 per cent of their revenue by consultant and highly commensurate tuition fees system), there is no Polytechnic or College of Education in Oyo State that can implement the new salary increment without the funding from government.
“We demand the immediate implementation of this 25/35 per cent increment and the payment of arrears from January 2023;
“The Platinum Consultant’s activities have turned into a financial burden, siphoning off 10 per cent of IGR from our institutions. The money that should have been used for academic commitments are being deducted by the said consultant.
“Financial autonomy had been eroded from the institutions against best practices making the system inefficient and ineffective in meeting the demand of an educational institution. This practice must end immediately.”
JAC further noted that all state-owned universities – Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso; Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, Oyo and Abiola Ajimobi First Technical University, Ibadan were exempted from this arrangement highlighting discriminatory practices against the Polytechnic and College of Education in the state.
It continued that, “The current salary augmentation policy is unsustainable and detrimental to effective service delivery of our institutions.
“Schools are using substantial proportion of their IGR to augment salary of staff, making it difficult to meet essential services and demands of academic institution. Oyo State government should provide full subvention to end this debilitating practice;
“Shortage of manpower and casualisation of Workers: There is a critical shortage of both teaching and non-teaching staff within our institutions, with many departments functioning with minimal academic staff of between one and three staff.
“Our Polytechnics and Colleges of Education now rely heavily on casual staff for teaching and administrative functions,” the statement reads in part.

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