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Ondo tertiary institutions to shut down as unions declare strike

Ondo tertiary institutions to shut down as unions declare strike

Non-academic staff of Ondo State-owned tertiary institutions have declared a 14-day warning strike over six months unpaid salaries.

The strike will commence on Monday.

The workers are embarking on the strike under the Joint Action Committee (JAC).

They said the state government had refused to honour the union’s demands.

They are aggrieved over the delay in the release of monthly subvention to the institutions which has caused a delay in payment of salary.

According to JAC’s notice signed by Aguda Temitope Secretary of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU); J.O. Fagbemi of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), and A.O. Ogungbeni, all of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), and addressed to the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, the strike is due to failure of the governor, Rotimi Akeresolu, to meet their demands.

“We write to inform the university authority that all JAC, NASU, SSANU, NAAT, AAUA, shall embark on 14-day warning strike effective 14th of December 2020 as directed by JAC of Ondo State-owned tertiary institutions due to failure of the state Governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to invite JAC ODSTI, for dialogue on the demands presented, especially on the prompt release of monthly subvention to the institutions which has caused the delayed payment of salary as well as implementation of the new minimum wage to the staff of the tertiary institutions in Ondo State,” the one paragraph notice read.

The NASU Secretary said, “the action would be total and no form of concession would be entertained or granted during the strike.”

He stated that “no sitting in the office for any reason would be allowed except the security unit staff and other essential services.”

“It is time for us to end hardship in Ondo State-Owned Tertiary institutions particularly Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA),” Mr Temitope said.

On Thursday, the university management invited members of JAC consisting of NAAT, NASU and SSANU to a meeting based on the ultimatum given to it and the Governing Council to pay all the outstanding salaries; implementation of the new minimum wage and release of all cooperative deductions and check-offs.

It was gathered that the Vice-Chancellor appealed to JAC to drop the planned strike.

The union members rejected the appeal.

The VC had hinted that two months subventions had been released to the university but that payment might be delayed if the union went on strike.

He then reportedly appealed for the exemption of officers in charge of salaries at the bursary unit, “so that staff can get salaries for forthcoming Christmas/New year celebrations”, a request granted by the JAC with the proviso that the officers affected would join the warning strike immediately salaries were paid.

Staff in the health centre would be allowed to provide skeletal services since health issues are essential, it was learnt.

When reached for his reaction, the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, said he was not aware of the notice of the strike.

He referred this reporter to the Commissioner for Education for details.

Commissioner for Education, Femi Agagu, could not be reached at the time of filing this report.

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