The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on strike action to protest inadequate funding of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) by the owner states of Oyo and Osun.
ASUU LAUTECH branch chairperson, Dr. Biodun Olaniran and secretary, ‘Toyin Abegunrin in a statement on Wednesday, said members of staff were owed several months of salary, promotion arrears among others.
According to ASUU, apart from non-payment of salaries and other entitlements, there has been no singular infrastructural development on campus since the inception of the present administration in Oyo and Osun States.
It added that members of staff were retiring while some other ones are leaving the University for other Universities, students’ enrolment was increasing yet no employment of any kind has been made in the last ten years.
“On several occasions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LAUTECH branch had communications with the University management as well as the then governing council.
“When the situation became unbearable, particularly due to non-responsiveness of the two owner governments to their responsibility to the University, the Union embarked on an industrial action. During the course of the strike, attempts were made to solve the problems. One of such attempts was the constitution of a Visitation Panel led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
“The result of the Visitation Panel was released and a Technical Committee was set up by Oyo state government. A white paper on the report of the Visitation was issued with a lot of alterations on the recommendations of the Visitation Panel.
“Instead of implementing the recommendations in the report, the governments kept hammering on the auditing of the accounts of the University by KPMG.”
The union explained that during the course of the struggle, the tenure of office of Wale Omole-led governing council expired and a new governing council led by Prof ‘Dapo Afolabi was constituted.
In an attempt to resolve the crises, it said the new governing council met on several occasions with ASUU and at one of the meetings (on the 11th January, 2017), the governing council requested the Union to submit its proposal on how to resolve the crises in the University.
“At a meeting in Lagos on the 13th February, 2017, the Union presented its proposal to the Governing Council. The proposal was deliberated upon by the Union and the Council members.
“Certain amendments were made to the satisfaction of the two parties. This culminated into signing of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) between the Union and the Governing Council on the same day (13/02/2017).’’
It lamented that after the strike that followed, the governments still refused to attend to their funding responsibilities of the University even after the said “auditing”, both personnel and accounts.
It said that the arrears of salaries (10 months), promotion arrears, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), among others, are not paid, adding that there was no positive response on other welfare issues including the pension and gratuity and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“These observations were communicated to the University management and the governing council on several occasions. Sometimes, letter of appeal will be written to the Union to bear with them. Since January 2018, monthly salaries are being paid fairly regularly, largely from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) resources of the University (probably due to increase in school fee earlier imposed on the poor masses).
“The latest letter to the Council was written on Tuesday 5th July, 2018, calling its attention to its reneging on the MoA of 13th February, 2017 and the clause that led to the conditional suspension of the strike.”