By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
The three non-teaching staff unions at the University of Ibadan on Monday suspended their two weeks old strike over shortfall in salary payment and the ownership of Staff School.
Speaking with newsmen on the suspension of the strike, Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Idowu Olayinka promised to always explore lawful means to better the welfare of staff and students of the University.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the issue of Staff school of the institution is being resolved through a committee set-up comprising all stakeholders, saying, no staff of the school will be sacked.
“For purpose of clarity, the two contentious issues at stake by the staff unions are/were the shortfall in payment of salaries and ownership of the Staff School. The Management of the University of Ibadan once again reiterates its understanding of the harsh realities of the sharply increasing costs of living and the mounting financial pressures on members of the university community as well as the challenge of under-payment of salaries which have further compounded the situation,” he said.
Professor Olayinka added that “the University Management continues to look inwards at ways of resolving the financial challenges arising from the short fall of the revenue allotted the University, which in itself was due largely to the quantum drop in the price of crude oil on the world market.”
“The outstanding issues with our Staff School which arose from Managements compliance with the directives from our proprietors, the Federal Government of Nigeria, are being resolved. We are very keen on maintaining the enviable pedigree of the School and improvement of its fortunes. For the avoidance of doubt, the management of the University of Ibadan is not going to sack any of the teachers in the School. Be assured that the University Management has strong stakes in all the unions and the assumption that some are being marginalised or less preferred is an erroneous claim”.
Professor Olayinka noted that the University community can only thrive and prosper with the understanding and support of all members and by inference all the unions, saying, “the utmost concern of this administration is to improve the quality of life of staff which would culminate in better performance of staff at work, teaching or research. We are therefore certain that plans that will alleviate current economic challenges will be evolved”.
The Vice Chancellor however acknowledged the personal intervention of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr Umar Musa Mustapha as well as those of all the parties, individuals, bodies and groups on the successful negotiations that saw to the end of the strike.