*your strike not justifiable – Oyo Govt
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Academic and administration work were paralysed on Monday at The Polytechnic Ibadan as the Institution’s workers embarked on indefinite strike over non-payment of the federal government approved N30,000 minimum wage in the institution
The workers during the strike shut down the institution down by locking the gates leading to the campus thereby forcing the returning students of the Polytechnic back home.
New Nigerian learnt that the strike followed a motion moved and seconded at a congress by the unions in the Institution where it was reportedly agreed that the strike should be total and comprehensive, and that “no worker is exempted as essential services, till the government acceedes” to their demands.”
At the general meeting of the academic and non-academic staff of the institution convened by a Joint committee of all Staff Unions , it was alleged that the Institution’s Governing council and the Oyo State government have repeatedly refused to implement the minimum wage for workers in the citadel of learning.
Speaking on the strike, the Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), Comrade Abiodun Abegunde, maintained that the issue must be fought to a logical conclusion, adding that several efforts have been employed to resolve the impasse, but to no avail.
Comrade Abegunrin stressed that the wage structure being demanded by the Unions is even lower than that being enjoyed by sister institutions in other states.
Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union, (NASU), in the institution, Comrade Ibrahim Akande said the Governing Council itself was incapacitated by the overreaching activities of the consultant.Reactions to the strike, Oyo state Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye said the state government entered into an agreement with all tertiary institutions in the state based on the last discussion reached with governing councils of all tertiary institutions in the state and that the state government ” is set to sign the agreement before the week runs out”.
“Well, I must let you know that the strike action is not justifiable anywhere, there is no basis for it to be candid, and I will yell you why.The government directed the governing council of each school and we engaged them on discussion over the issue of minimum wage, and as at December, all other tertiary institutions have agreed with us on the issue of minimum wage”, he said.
The Commissioner added, “any moment from now, we are going to sign the agreement hopefully before the end of this week. It is only Polytechnic of Ibadan that disagreed, and their disagreement was not based on any law or circular.
“In actual fact, what the state government has proposed to them is in line with the circular of the national salaries and wages commission but the team that led their negotiation came with a table of Lagos state.So, they said we should adopt Lagos state table as the basis for the minimum wage, and we told them that we can only go by the provisions of the law the circular from the federal government which all other schools accepted except the Polytechnic of Ibadan.
“So, it is not justified, and again, at 5am this morning, the union locked up the gate of the school even before the congress of the union, you know the union is supposed to give them the directive to either goon strike or not but without waiting for the union, some members just went ahead and locked up the the school gates and prevent students from writing their exams which they commenced last year.However, we will still continue to engage them to let them see reason. As at the time all of us should be on way for Christmas on the 24th, we still held meeting with them here with the council members and the management.