Days after students in some Oyo State owned institutions protested the continued closure of their schools, staff of Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED), Oyo, on Tuesday, took to State Secretariat, Ibadan, to call on the state government to defray its outstanding arrears of 16 months and ensure that their salary is paid in full, every month.
According to Nigerian Tribune, the striking staff, who rendered their appeal to the representatives of the state government and leadership of the state House of Assembly, especially decried the failure of the governing council of their institution to be plain with the state government about their inadequacies in addressing the issues.
Placards used by the staff to drive home their points had inscriptions such as, “Do not sack any of us in order to reduce unemployment”, “Council be careful, Stop Misrepresenting Government”, “Use Bail out to pay our salary arrears”, “Mass Sack is Illegal and Anti-Masses”, “100% Salary is Not Negotiable”, “We are tired of EACOED council and management.”
Speaking on behalf of the protesting staff, Chairman, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), EACOED, Oyo, Mr Segun Oyewumi, said the strike which began on June 24, 2018, had lasted long enough, calling on the state government to clear the outstanding arrears and pay its salary 100 percent so that the strike can be called off.
“Our children are out of school, our staffs are dying. The Oyo state government should pay the outstanding arrears of 16 months salaries and continually pay our salary in full.
“The attitude of the governing council is dragging the name of the Oyo state government into the mud. We had agreement with the governing council in February on payment of salary in full and continual payment of salary till the arrears are defrayed.
“The agreement was honoured from January to April. We had 57 percent in May, 56.5 percent in June and nothing more. Instead of the council to tell the government of their inability to pay, they want to force us to work with obnoxious policies. We have been on strike since June 24 and the council has been unable to find a solution to the problem. We have been in an out of strike since January 2016,” Oyewumi said.
In his response, Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Adeyemo, sought the understanding of the staff, noting that the state government had shown desire to resolve the issue with its recent increase of the subvention of EACOED from N53 million to N101 million.
Especially, Adeyemo urged the striking staff to return to work and be optimistic that the government will ensure that full salaries are paid regularly and outstanding arrears cleared accordingly.
Prior to meeting with Adeyemo, the EACOED staff had also got the assurances of Speaker of the state Assembly, Honourable Olagunju Ojo, to meet with the institution’s governing council and management cum state government with a view to resolving the lingering impasse.