TUC issues ultimatum to Oyo over unpaid salaries •Strike paralyses activities at UI

Posted by News Express | 2 August 2016 | 2,816 times

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The Oyo State branch of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a five-day ultimatum to the state government to “immediately offset” a backlog of eight months’ unpaid salaries to workers.

Its Chairman, Comrade Andrew Emelieze, issued the warning in Ibadan following the expiration of the period offered to the government.

The union, which described the alliance between the government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as unholy, emphasised that a recent deal signed to end the industrial deadlock was not a true reflection of the yearnings of the various unions.

“We condemn in strong term the agreement between Oyo Government and NLC. It is totally condemned and vindictive. We shall not accept these conditions. It is a fraud and we will not be part of such agreement that is inimical to the future of workers.

“An extra five days ultimatum will be given to the state government to pay all outstanding arrears with interest. The people should start preparing for a mass action to occupy the state secretariat on August 8, 2016, should the government refuse to meet our demands.

“You will recall that the Oyo State Government and the NLC entered into an unholy alliance by signing a lactiferous and satanic agreement that is inimical to industrial harmony in the state. The agreement is illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable to the TUC.

“We condemn it in strong term as we see the sophisticated and nonsensical resolution, which allows government to sack workers and reduce work-force. The agreement is baseless and callous; we reject it in all its form and entity. It is a product only good for the dust bin,” Emelieze said.

He condemned the pronouncement by the state government to restructure the public service, which, the TUC leader claimed, is aimed at sacking workers.

Similarly, Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Chairman Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran, said there was a subsisting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the government and the unions.

But he noted that the leadership of the public service, the JNC, was not carried along in the agreement that was signed.

“Our jurisdiction has been encroached. All stakeholders must come together to put an end to this shortcoming. Government should do the needful,” Ogundiran said.

Meanwhile, academic and administrative activities were on Monday disrupted at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, as the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) continued their warning strike to demand full payment of salaries and arrears from January 2016 to date.

Sources informed that staff members of the university have been collecting fraction of their salaries since January 2016 due to shortfall of allocation from the Federal Government.

As early as 7:00 a.m. on Monday, the Joint Action Congress of Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), NASU and NAAT had stormed the gate of the university for a joint congress and put the gate under lock and key.

Following the development, heavy traffic jam was witnessed at the Agbowo end of the university, as people were forced to park their vehicles and trek inside the school but the gate was opened shortly after noon.

While the strike affected some faculties which are still writing their undergraduate examinations, movements within, into and outside the school were hampered.

The unions lamented that they were forced to take the latest action owing to the failure of the university’s administration to yield to their demands of commencing full payment of salaries by July ending and arrears of shortfalls from December 2015 to June 2016.

The Chairman of SSANU, Wale Akinremi, said the congress of the unions had resolved to commence the industrial action without any further warning following several unfulfilled promises.

The unions are also demanding payment of N15,000 and N30,000 hazard allowances for junior and senior staff respectively.

The unions had last week Friday ordered their members to go home after holding a joint congress at the university entrance gate forcing people to trek distances to their destinations.

Meanwhile, in a post on the social media, Bursar of the university, Michael Alatise, was said to have disclosed that the university has now received payment of shortfalls covering January to April, 2016 with directive of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka, that the money be paid.

•Pieced together from The Nation and Nigerian Tribune reports. Photo shows Governor Isiaka Ajimobi of Oyo State.

Source: News Express

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