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We’ve lost 10 staff to unpaid salaries, govt neglect, says EKSU ASUU

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To Begin Indefinite Strike At Expiration Of Four Weeks Notice
Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Ekiti State University (EKSU) chapter, has said that no fewer than 10 members of staff of EKSU have died due to inability to pay medical bills from treatable ailments in the last three years.

They threatened to embark on indefinite strike from 22nd April when the four weeks notice given to the management would lapse over alleged ‘absolute and unprecedented’ neglect of the University by the Ekiti State Government. ASUU Chairman EKSU branch, Doctor Kayode Arogundade stated this yesterday when he led other executive members to address newsmen at the University campus.

The lecturers said that but for the various interventions of the Federal Government, occasioned by consistent ASUU struggles, the university would have either been closed down or mortgaged to private investors. Arogundade noted that the University that is state-owned could not boast of a singular infrastructural facility put in place by the current State Government, since its inception in 2018.

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“As at today, Ekiti State Government is only subventing EKSU by 50 percent of its monthly wage bills, without paying any considerable attention to capital grants and infrastructural developments. This has led EKSU Administration to indulge in financial infractions, such as subversion of tax deductions to paying salaries, diversion of pension deductions to paying salaries and fund diversion from various units of the University (Health Centre, ICT, Faculties and Directorates) leaving all these units in absolute neglect and disarray.

“Our workers are being owed salaries for July, August and September, 2018; six years arrears of earned academic allowances, 26 months unremitted pension deductions and 14 months arrears of half salaries.”

The lecturers said in the spirit of collective bargaining, they had met with critical stakeholders in the University and Ekiti State more than seventeen times since the inauguration of this current administration to no avail. “We don’t want to die before our money is paid. We are tired of promises. The Governor has denied us access to interact with him and has called our bluff,” they said.

Reacting, the state government said strike was not the answer, saying the way out was for all to sit together and fashion out a means of alternative funding sources. Special Adviser to the state governor on Tertiary Education, Sikiru Eniola, who appealed to the lecturers, said the problems in the institution came into being during the immediate past administration of Ayodele Fayose. He charged ASUU and EKSU council, as well as the management to work on the resolutions arrived at during the recent House of Assembly intervention including the need for a private bill to enable local government devote part of their monthly allocations to EKSU and the need for an Endowment Fund.

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