The trade unions in Oyo State owned tertiary institutions have given the state government a seven-day ultimatum to pay all outstanding arrears of their workers, saying that failure to do so will force them to resume their suspended industrial action on January 14, 2018.
According to Premium Times, the resolution to resume the strike was reached at a meeting of workers of the six institutions owned by the state held in Saki last Friday.
The six institutions that attended the meeting were The Polytechnic, Ibadan; Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora; The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa; The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; and College of Education, Lanlate.
A communique released at the end of the meeting and signed by the Joint Action Committee Chairman, Mr Afees Adeniyi read: “A seven (7) day ultimatum (from January 7 to 14, 2019) should be issued for the state government to pay all the arrears of between 3 and 18 months, failure of which ALL the workers in the six tertiary institutions will resume their suspended industrial action by 12:01pm of Monday, 14th January, 2019.”
In October 2018, Governor Abiola Ajimobi promised to clear the backlog of arrears and approved the payment of outstanding salaries to the state civil servants and teachers under the payroll of the state government.
The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, at the time said the payment approved by Mr Ajimobi would cover the salaries of September and October 2018 which were outstanding at the time.
But according to the unions, the government had refused to implement the governor’s directive.
“The Oyo state government had failed (with the release of September, October and November 2018 Salaries/Subventions) to implement the Governor’s directive (that was given at the October 24, 2018 meeting that was held with the Governing Councils and Managements of each of the Six Institutions) for the commencement of payment of backlog of arrears of salaries (3-18months) owed between January 2016 and October 2018 with the September, 2018 salary/ subventions.
“The meeting observed that as at today Friday, January 4th, 2019 the personnel subventions of September, October, November and December 2018 had been released without any provision for funds for the payments of the owed backlog of arrears of salaries in contravention of the directive given by the Governor- His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Abiola Ajimobi that payments of the outstanding arrears should commence.”
The Committee also commended the Oyo state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for its efforts in ensuring that government implements the new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
“We equally recognize and appreciate Nigeria Labour Congress, Oyo state chapter for her support in ensuring that the accrued arrears of workers in the six tertiary institutions owned by Oyo state government are defrayed without any further delay.”
The Committee directed all its members who are affiliates of NLC to join any action embarked upon by the body’s Oyo state chapter in the struggle for the actualisation of national minimum wage and payment of three to 18 months salary arrears of workers in the six tertiary institutions.