Workers in Oyo State tertiary institutions have commence an indefinite strike following the expiration of the three-day ultimatum given to the state government over “the demands for the reversal of the aberrations of the operations of Platinum Consultants and refusal to pay accrued 11 months minimum wage arrears among other issues.”
A communique issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP);Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU); Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) in Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED), Oyo; Oyo State College of Education (OYSCOED), Lanlate; Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH), Igbo-Ora; Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic (AOP), Eruwa; Oke Ogun Polytechnic (TOP), Saki, at the end of their meeting on Monday, said the strike would be total and immediate.
The communique signed by the JAC Chairman, Comrade Olusegun Oyewumi, urged members of the public to recall the “patriotic efforts of JAC in raising her voice against the tyrannical attempts of the previous administration to destroy tertiary institutions in the state.”
“JAC is not relenting in any way in her determination to continue to resist any attempt to subvert the sanctity of the sector by introducing any measure that is alien and inimical to the smooth running of the schools. One of such aberrations and threats to the smooth running of the institutions is the illegal operations of the PLATINUM CONSULTANTS as an authorizing body for every spending by the institutions. A practice that is unknown to all laws establishing and guiding the smooth running of the institutions.
“JAC as a civil body of erudite persons had made several entreaties to the present administration of Engr. Seyi Makinde to correct this abnormality in the past, all to no avail. Aside from the several independent civil approaches by JAC, we are also aware of similar fruitless efforts by other stakeholders in the sector.
JAC noted that the operations of the consultant is crippling academic activities in the institutions and might prevent the teaming youths of the state access to sound and qualitative education if this current trend is sustained,” the communique said.
The body noted that the state government has failed to pay or give any committal towards the fulfillment of the contents of the January 13, 2021 agreement to totally defray the accrued minimum wage arrears from January to November 2020 minimum in not more than three installments.
“The reality of the overwhelming negative effects of the actions of the incumbent administration in forcing each institution to be responsible for continual defrayment of the monthly arrears of salaries incurred during the dark era of the previous administration and the new minimum wage are dawning on all of us, as a yoke that will eventually cripple the sector if not nipped in the bud. Against the misleading advice of Platinum Consultants to the government, the reality is that no Institution can barely survive under this burden,” it said.
The body added that having fulfilled the requisite procedures for embarking on legitimate industrial action such as seven and three days ultimatum to the state government and respective Governing Councils on the February 15 and 24, 2021 respectively, it was left with no other choice than to begin an indefinite strike action.
“It is rather unfortunate that despite all efforts by JAC to sustain the existing industrial harmony in the institutions, the government is frustrating all efforts as it remains both unperturbed and unresponsive to all agitations up to the close of this meeting,” the communique added.