EKSU workers threaten strike, demand salary arrears, others
EKSU workers threaten strikes, demand salary arrears, others. The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti has appealed to stakeholders in the state to impress on Governor Kayode Fayemi and the institution’s council and management the need to urgently address the challenges of the university.
ASUU-EKSU Chairman, Dr. Kayode Arogundade; and Secretary, Dr. Daniel Ogunwale, lamented that the university was on the brink of collapse owing to its numerous challenges ranging from alleged decayed infrastructures to zero welfare for workers, hence the need for urgent intervention of the stakeholders.
The ASUU leaders, who spoke during a press conference in Ado Ekiti, said such interventions were also necessary to avert the indefinite industrial action by the academic staff scheduled to take off on April 22 on the expiration of the four-week ultimatum to the institution’s management and council.
They called on the stakeholders “to passionately appeal to all concerned in the EKSU project, in order to save it from total collapse. This required action would be in the interest of ordinary Nigerian children, whose parents are paying through the nose to educate them.
“For the sake of not wanting to see our students suffer, we have gone the extra mile in sacrificing, but at our meeting on April 7, it was resolved that enough is enough of this suffering and we can no longer continue.”
The ASUU leaders, who said the union had met with critical stakeholders in the university and state more than 17 times in the last one and a half years, accused the Fayemi administration, and the EKSU council and management of lacking respect for collective bargaining.
They said they had since given the university council and management a four-week deadline within which to redress their grouses or face an indefinite strike.
The academic workers listed the grouses of ASUU to include three months’ arrears of salaries for July, August, and September 2018; six years’ arrears of earned academic allowances; 26 months of unremitted pension deductions; and 14 months arrears of half salaries, among others.
But the Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Tertiary Education, Dr Sikiru Eniola, who appealed to ASUU that embarking on strike was not the answer to the issues in the university, said the way out was for the academic staff, university council, and management to sit together and fashion out means of alternative funding sources.
Eniola, who attributed the problems in the institution, including salary arrears, over-employment, and non-remittance of deductions to the immediate past administration of Ayodele Fayose, said, “The Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration came on a rescue mission and has been affecting it in EKSU.”
He charged ASUU and the EKSU council and 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 governments to devote part of their monthly allocations to EKSU and the need for an Endowment Fund.
The governor’s aide said, “The union should sit down with the stakeholders and fashion out alternative sources of funding to augment government funding. There is no way ASUU can just go on strike and expect that this thing can just be resolved.
“ASUU should spearhead the brainstorming. They should work on alternative sources of funding. Government is still committed to increasing the subvention to the university, but the university should work internally to ensure there are alternative sources of funding.”