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We lost 50 staff due to irregular salaries payment – Polytechnic unions



The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO) chapters said they lost 50 members over irregular payments of salaries.
The unions stated this after a joint meeting at the institution on Tuesday.
Speaking to the newsmen after the meeting of SSANIP, Mr Nafiu Okoro, said irregular salary payments to the unions’ members had caused a lot of havoc to the lives of workers in the polytechnic.
Okoro explained that over 10 months salaries were being owed by the institution’s management.
“All non teaching staff, comprising NASU and SSANIP agreed that government should pay all our outstanding salaries running to over 10 months.
“That N35,000 being paid to workers as palliatives in Ondo State should be extended to institutions.
“Also, management should pay all the deductions of our cooperative societies. These form parts of our resolutions.
“The situation here is pathetic. I want to inform you that we have lost over 50 staff members as a result of irregularities in salary payments since few years ago. In this year, three staff died on the same day,” he stated.
According to him, the two unions have passed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Dr Olubunmi Omoniyi-led Governing Council of the institution.
He alleged that several millions of naira had been siphoned by the council when the institution’s staff were not paid.
“We are being paid a percentage of our salaries and being owed for many months while the council is spending a bogus amount of money on sitting allowances, quarterly allowances, and Christmas bonuses when the staff are wallowing in abject poverty.
“We are going home with empty stomachs, particularly in this Yuletide which is a celebration of gifts. But we have nothing to take home to our families.
“It has become unbearable. We are now awake.  We want to take our destiny into our hands. The government should bail us out of this quagmire. We are tired, and we are suffering.
“For us to bury three of our staff in a day this year is threatening. The way we are losing our members is terrible because there is no food and no access to medical care,” he said.
The SSANIP chairman said that the two unions had resolved to embark on indefinite strike starting January 1, 2024, if the workers’ salaries were not fully paid.
“We suspended our strike due to plea from the management and the governing council, and they promised us, but they have failed us, and we are closing the polytechnic’s gates on January 2, 2024, if our salaries are not all paid. It’s going to be a total strike,” he said.
Okoro urged the state to also release funds to the school’s management to offset the salaries, saying that the state government should be sensitive to the agony and yearning of the polytechnic’s workers.
The SSANIP chairman said that the union was happy that the polytechnic had been approved for upgrading to university status, asking the state government to ensure that the polytechnic’s workers also transited to the university’s workers.
Similarly, the Chairman of NASU, Mr Gbenga Aro, explained that the two unions were on the same page of resolutions, representing non-teaching staff of the polytechnic.
Aro said that it was disheartening and worrisome that the workers dues and benefits were not being given to them in spite of their crucial roles in the institution.
“We have met and resolved in brevity that unless all the backlog of our salaries are paid, we are going to close down this institution by embarking on our suspended strike by Jan. 1, 2024,” he said.
He stated that the upgrading of the polytechnic to a university should be done by migrating the polytechnic’s staff to be staff of the university.
Responding, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the polytechnic, Mr Samuel Ojo, described the unions’ agitation as normal.
He asked the unions to bring their grievances to the institution’s management for negotiation and discussion.
Ojo, who said that two wrongs would not make a right, asked for proper dialogue between unions and the polytechnic’s management for the common good of all.
Alaba-olusola Oke

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