By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Federal College of Agriculture, (FCA) Moor plantation, Ibadan branch on Friday staged peaceful protest over indefinite suspension without pay slammed on four of their members by the College’s Management.
During the protest, the ASUP members were seen with placards having inscriptions such as ‘ASUP say no to arbitrary suspension of its members’, ‘Enough of these Victimization’, ‘Pay us our renumerations’, ‘ASUP demand immediate recall of all suspended lecturers’ with various songs to condemned their alleged maltreatment by the Management
Addressing journalists at the Apata campus of the College shortly after the protest, the ASUP Chairperson, Comrade Jokanola Olufemi said the union is also protesting non payment of the approved academic decadence in the college.
Comrade Jokanola stated that ASUP condemns in absolute term the indefinite suspension without pay of four of its leading members without pay since Monday, 12th August 2016.
“We demand immediate and unconditional reversal of the suspension order while we call on the general public to prevail on Engr. Dr. Babajide Adelekan-led administration to hands-off our union affairs and allow us to remain with union of our choice”he said.
According to the ASUP leader,the indefinite suspension without pay was done “without following the necessary provisions of the public service rule (PSR), particularly PSR Section 3, subsections 030301 to 030307 (also referred in Section 4) which stipulates, among other things, the procedure and conditions under which a public servant charged with even very serious allegations of misconduct can be temporarily interdicted with 50% of his emoluments and not even suspended let alone indefinite suspension without pay.
Accusing the College Management of alleged “impunity and disregard for democratic norms”, the ASUP Chairperson added that “according to Section 4 of PSR 030406 and 030412, a worker can only be suspended (not even indefinitely without pay) for a serious prima facie case usually, ‘criminal’ allegations and forthwith be prohibited from carrying out his/her duties in the public interest”.
“This is after such a worker must have been provided avenues for fair hearing through a duly constituted neutral, unbiased panel with unions’ representatives inclusive. In case of misconduct which is the allegation levelled against the suspended staff, PSR 040206 stipulates that a worker can only be suspended provided he/she has repeated records of penalties and three different queries issued on each occasion after an avenue through a duly constituted panel for fair hearing for self-defence is provided”.
He stressed that “in the case of these four suspended lecturers, none of them had any record of query letters ever given since the inception of their lecturing career in the institute until the birth of ASUP as a formidable union in the college” saying, “in the case of the Union’s PRO (Comrade Adekunle Adenike), she had no record of a single query even as she was invited to face the in-house disciplinary committee set up by the Provost, after which, she was issued one. The three other suspended lecturers who also have records of receipt of queries were arbitrarily given”.
Speaking further, the ASUP gave other demands of the union as “immediate payment of the approved academic conference fees for 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic sessions to all concerned academic staff” saying, “this is against the current norm whereby conference money is only paid to the Provost’s loyalists” and that “every academic staff involved in teaching of part time students must be renumerated accordingly”.