By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Lecturers at the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti are now on collision course with the Ekiti state Government over what they described as”amputated salaries.” they were being paid.
The teachers also decried deduction of taxes to the tune of 120 per cent of their salaries which they said has inflicted hardship on them.
The college teachers who have since embarked on an indefinite strike demanded payment of six month arrears of salaries owed them and increase of the subvention to the institution.
Acting under the aegis of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), the teachers in a communique issued at the end of an emergency Congress demanded the payment of N900 million arrears of pension and gratuities of retired staff.
According to the communique signed by Chairman, A. B. Olokesusi and Secretary, Dare Owolabi, advocated a negotiation of the tax regime before its implementation.
They also expressed anger that the State government had denied them audience despite three separate letters to the Fayose administration on the issues of their welfare.
COEASU said: “While we agreed that payment of tax is a must for all citizens of a nation, the Union also believed that tax payment is subject to negotiation.
“A situation where all allowances-leave bonus, research allowance, teaching practice allowance and so on are taxed is highly provocative and seriously condemnable.
“Apart from this, the state Government has been paying amputated salaries to members over the years since the monthly subvention is far below what can cater for the entire workers’ salaries.
“Having deliberated critically on these issues, the following were the resolutions:
“That the management of the College should stop further deduction of tax arrears of the salaries of members.
“That the Management should with immediate effect explain to the Union the reason for over 120% tax deduction from salaries of members.
“That the arrears of tax so deducted be refunded to members without any delay.
“That Union condemns in strong term the unnecessary burden being placed on workers who have not received 6 months salaries due to the failure of the government.
“That the Union hereby rejects in totality the payment of amputated monthly subvention to the College by the State Government.
“The Union hereby demands for immediate increase in the monthly subvention to the College to enable the Management pay full salary to the entire workers of the College.
“That the State Government should as a matter of urgency start the payment of backlogs of gratuity and pension arrears running to NINE HUNDRED MILLION NAIRA (N900,000000.OO).
“The Union observes that in the last thirty years, no pension and gratuity has been paid to any retiree of the College.
“That in view of the fact that the Union has exhausted all avenues to redress the obnoxious tax deduction and based on the failure of the State Government to meet with the Union on the negotiation table, the Union therefore agreed and resolved to embark on an indefinite industrial action until the Government revert to the previous tax being paid.”