By G9ija

Labour unions in Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to sack the consultant appointed to authorize all spendings of the institutions.

Gathering under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions (JAC), the unions described the appointment of a consultant to authorize all spending by tertiary institutions as an aberration to the edict establishing the institutions. JAC said the appointment was also creating a bottleneck for financial decisions, a development it said was unhealthy for the smooth running of the institutions.

Chief executives of the institutions seek approval of the consultant on expenses. They cannot spend any sum without the company’s approval notwithstanding the existence of a board of management and management staff.

JAC includes ASUP, COEASU, SSANIP AND SSUCOEN at Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa; College of Education, Lanlate and Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igbo-Ora. They urged Governor Seyi Makinde to terminate the appointment or face industrial action.

The body took the decision at its meeting held on Thursday at the Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki.

In a six-point communique signed by the JAC Chairman, Comrade Olusegun Oyewumi, JAC restated that operations of Platinum Ltd. are no longer tolerable.

It also insisted that the state government must be fully responsible for salaries and emoluments of workers in the institutions.

“In as much as the government is wholly responsible for the implementation of the new minimum wage structure in every other sector such as health, justice and ministries, the same government should be responsible 100 per cent for the wages of workers in tertiary institutions. JAC rejected any form of salary augmentation in these institutions as this could lead us back to the dark era of past administration in which salary augmentation has brought untold hardship to the staffers of all tertiary institutions in the state,” It said.

JAC also called for defrayment of 11 months accrued arrears of minimum wage, stressing: “In line with the content of the signed agreement on minimum wage that the accrued January – November 2020 minimum wage arrears would be paid in not more than three instalments, JAC hereby demands that the government should state in clear terms like it did for core civil service, the specific months to defray the arrears. We urge the government to make known to us, her plans for defraying the arrears within the next seven days.”

It also urged the government to grant tax waiver to staff of the institution up to 40 per cent since taxation is negotiable.

JAC wants the state government to pay attention to decaying infrastructures in the institutions.

It, however, lauded the state government for implementing the approved new minimum wage in line with the Government/JAC agreement of January 13, 2021.