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STRIKE UPDATE: We’ll pay allowances within 30 months, UNIOSUN tells staff

THE Governing Council of the Osun State University, UNIOSUN, Osogbo has appealed to striking workers of the institution to return to work with a pledge to pay them their earned allowances within the next 30 months.

This came as the Osun House of Assembly inaugurated a 15-man ad hoc committee to investigate the crisis between the management and Non-Academic Staff Union of the state-owned university.

The Non Teaching Staff Unions (NASU NAAT and SSANU) of the Osun State University, under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, had on March 5, 2018 declared an indefinite strike action and demanded the payment of their earned allowances.

In a statement by the Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Gafar Shittu said: “It is apposite to state at this juncture, that the University has been unable to pay the Earned Allowance because of the shortfall in its finances. Nevertheless, of the total sum of five hundred and twenty four million naira (N524M) being the cost of the accrued allowances for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, the sum of N224million has since been paid while the university is not owing any arrears of salary till date.”

Osun assembly to probe crisis at varsity

Meanwhile, the assembly has directed the committee to investigate the accounts of the institution since 2015.

Speaker of the assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam, inaugurated the committee, in Osogbo on Tuesday, after a closed door meeting with the management and the leadership of the union in his office.

Salaam directed the committee to look into the incessant strike by the non-teaching staff of the institution and report back to the assembly in two weeks.

He said the House Committee Chairman on Public Account, Mr Rasheed Afolabi, would head the committee.

“It should be noted that even Federal Universities have only paid for 2009/2010 while no state university in Nigeria has paid anything close to UNIOSUN. Yet, non-teaching staff Unions have continued to reject offer of installmental payment of the balance of N300 million but preferred payment of the earned allowance at most twice without due cognizance of the peculiar financial status of the University.

“The non-teaching staff members have been on strike for three weeks. The implication is that the University has been practically shut down. Several statutory meetings had to be cancelled or postponed while the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) accreditation of regular undergraduate programmes and the Nursing Council of Nigeria’s professional accreditation of the nursing programme were almost stalled.

“Meanwhile the non-teaching staff members who are still on strike were paid salaries while the students who are financing the University are losing out and being short-changed.

“Therefore, the University Council at its meeting held on Monday, 26th March, 2018 and in response to the on-going three (3) weeks strike of the non-teaching staff, directed as follows: That the N300 million balance of the 2014/2015 Earned Allowance be paid instalmentally at N10 million per month effective from 30th April, 2018.

“That the no-work-no pay extant rule remains in force. That a register of attendance be administered in every College and departments for non-teaching staff members who are willing to resume work immediately.

“That all non-teaching staff on strike should resume back to work on or before the 10thApril, 2018, failing which the extant rules of the University will apply.

“It is on this note that the management reiterates its long-standing appeal to the striking non-teaching staff to return to work and join once again in the arduous task of the growth and development of the University,” the release added.

Osun assembly to probe crisis at varsity

Meanwhile, the assembly has directed the committee to investigate the accounts of the institution since 2015.

Speaker of the assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam, inaugurated the committee, in Osogbo on Tuesday, after a closed door meeting with the management and the leadership of the union in his office.

Salaam directed the committee to look into the incessant strike by the non-teaching staff of the institution and report back to the assembly in two weeks.

He said the House Committee Chairman on Public Account, Mr Rasheed Afolabi, would head the committee.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Labo Poopola, thanked the assembly for its timely intervention, saying that the institution had been witnessing different crises in the last five years.

He expressed optimism that with the intervention of the assembly, there would be peace in the university.

The Chairman of the university’s JAC, Mr Olalekan Adiat, said he was optimistic that the assembly would do the needful in ensuring peace in the institution.

In his remarks, Mr Jacob Adekomi, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Osun, described the inauguration of the committee as a good move to usher peace into the university.

Adekomi expressed confidence in the ability of the assembly to ensure peace in the university.

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