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Monday 7 December 2015

OOU lecturers threaten strike over unpaid salaries

OOU lecturers threaten strike over unpaid salaries

Scores of lecturers of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago- Iwoye, OOU, yesterday trooped to the streets of the university town to protest non-payment of their 16 months salaries by Ogun State Government.

The protesting lecturers, who were armed with placards bearing different inscriptions, also lamented poor funding of the university and the state of infrastructure in the institution, alleging that most of its buildings and laboratories are dilapidated and left without equipment for practical courses.

The OOU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, however, threatened that lecturers in the institution may embark on an indefinite strike after a meeting of the union congress scheduled to hold this week.

The union warned that the proposed strike would be “total, comprehensive and indefinite” and “shall remain in force until the state government takes concrete and sustainable steps” to address their demands.

The lecturers who began demonstration at the OOU mini-campus, Ago-Iwoye, at about 12 noon, took their protest outside the university’s gate, moving in procession along Ita-Merin/Igan Road area to sensitise students and residents of the community on their plight and proposed industrial action.

Armed with placards and large banner, the lecturers chanted protest and solidarity songs condemning the attitude of the state government towards the institution and their welfare.

Addressing the protesting lecturers and journalists, Chairman of OOU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr. Deji Agboola, said lecturers in the institution were being constrained to consider going on an indefinite strike because the state government had failed to respond to two ultimatums earlier issued concerning their grievances. Agboola accused the state government of forming the habit of not paying OOU lecturers regularly.

The OOU ASUU chairman noted that this anomaly in the payment of their monthly salaries had led to a situation where it had become impossible for many lecturers to meet their financial obligations to their families, while at the same time infrastructure in the institution had continued on progressive dilapidation.

“One prominent way by which the state government has been cutting back on funding of the university is the non-payment of full salary of staff and removal of subvention head. We have written several letters to the council and the visitor to the university to this effect.

Public education is a social good. “Government currently pays about half of the full salary of staff at OOU. To make matters worse, the so-called salaries are placed under the “subversion” heading; a misleading heading which could be misinterpreted as grant meant for research and development of the university.

“Government also pretends that they do not know that this half salary of staff is the subvention sent to the university. In short, as at this moment, the government has failed to send the supposed subvention to the university for 16 months. What a shame! Agboola said

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