Sunday, 4th June 2023

OAU management threatens to sanction striking workers

By Tunji Omofoye
23 June 2016   |   1:19 am
The workers had begun their protest and strike action since June 6, after taking the university authorities to court over the selection process of the Vice Chancellor.
 Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University

Authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University {OAU}, Ile-Ife, Osun state have threatened to impose no work no pay rule on striking members of Non -Academic Staff Union {NASU} and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities {SSANU}.

The threat was against the backdrop of intensified protest non-payment of allowances and alleged imposition of new Vice-Chancellor on the university by the Governing Council on Tuesday, the protesting workers appeared in red and black dresses to advance their course and vowed to stop the newly appointed VC, Professor Ayobami Salami from resuming office on Friday.

The workers had begun their protest and strike action since June 6, after taking the university authorities to court over the selection process of the Vice Chancellor.

The Guardian learnt that the protest became heightened when then University’s Governing Council announced Professor Salam as the new VC.

The announcement made on the university’s website read, “The Governing Council, at its Special meeting held on June 6, 2016, considered the report of the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board for the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor for the University and decided to appoint Professor Ayobami Taofeek Salami as the eleventh Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife, for a term of five years with effect from June 24, 2015.”

In a statement by the Registrar of the university, Dotun Awoyemi, dated June 20, the university authorities threatened not to pay the salaries of the protesting workers.

The directive reads, “The University has viewed with grave concern the continued absence of some members of staff of SSANU and NASU and allied institutions from their duty post without and declaration of trade dispute since June 7, 2016.

“The University Administration hereby directs all such members of staff to immediately report to their respective duty posts; otherwise; the University Administration may not be in a better to guarantee the payment of June 2016 salaries to these categories of workers.”

Meanwhile, the protesting workers had vowed to continue with their protests till July 6, 2016, which the next hearing of the suits would come up.

The Chairman of NASU Comrade Wole Odewunmi said, “We will keep picketing the Senate building. Immediately it’s 10am, we will assemble at motion ground to continue picketing, that’s not more like a protest, it’s picketing.”

‎On their part, students of the institution under the aegis of Education Right Campaign (ERC) urged members of NASU/SSANU to be united against the university authorities.

The students in a communique signed by the Secretary of ERC, OAU branch, Omole Ibukun, after a general meeting held to mark the National Action Day of the ERC at OAU sought for unity by the unions.

The communique read, “Recommendations were made as regards necessary unity. The need for a joint congress of all unions was also emphasised, to iron out the grey areas in our struggles, air every justifiable grouse and grudge and achieve the much-needed unity.

“It was also added that the ERC stands for electoral democratization of the university management and the decision-making organs of all institution in the education, to include students, staff, parents and other members of the community.”