Members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State, on Monday described the decision of the Governing Council of the institution to sanction any worker, who failed to resume for duty and sign the attendance register, as an empty threat.
The lecturers said they would only return to work after the payment of their 11 months outstanding salaries by the Oyo State Government.
The council had on Thursday held an emergency meeting where it was decided that activities of the ASUP at the institution should be suspended. The council also directed that all academic activities should resume immediately.
The striking lecturers, who staged another protest at the polytechnic, described the council’s pronouncement as illegal and unconstitutional, stressing that it was a dictatorial move aimed at humiliating the workers.
A statement jointly signed by the chairman of the union, Muyiwa Olawumi, and the secretary, Sikiru Isiak, said, “The purported suspension of the activities of the union is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void. The council’s action is outdated, humiliating, degrading, archaic, ex-communicating, barbaric, embarrassing, dictatorial, provocative and undemocratic.
The council’s action of coercing lecturers to resume was uncalled for when the negotiation window as contained in its (union) response to the purported Memorandum of Understanding had not been exhausted. The council cannot go outside its statute to usurp the power vested in the Registrar of Trade Unions under Trade Union Act.
“We demand the outright payment of all outstanding arrears, 10 months unremitted cooperative deductions and seven months of full salary. Our patience and sacrifice have been stretched beyond limit.”