Monday, August 15, 2016 9:57 pm
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan
The striking non academic staff of the University of Ibadan, UI, today after two weeks of refusal to work suspended their strike with a warning that if the institution’s authority fails to heed to their demand, an indefinite strike would be declared.
The aggrieved unions which have been at logger heads with the school authority since Friday July 29 over the shortfall in salary payment for the past six months and the ownership of the Staff School are: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non-Academic Staff Unions (NASU).
As a result of the suspension of the strike, academic activities have picked up as first semester examination commenced today for postgraduate students and undergraduate students have also resumed for the second semester.
Briefing the newsmen on the development, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka said that the suspension of the strike was as a result of the intervention of all the parties, individuals, bodies and groups promising members that he would always explore lawful means to better the welfare of staff and students of the institution.
He also assured them that the issue of Staff school of the institution is being resolved through a committee set-up comprising all stakeholders, adding that no staff of the school would be sacked.
His words, “For the purpose of clarity, the two contentious issues at stake by the staff unions are/were the shortfall in payment of salaries and ownership of the Staff School. The Management of the University of Ibadan once again reiterates its understanding of the harsh realities of the sharply increasing costs of living and the mounting financial pressures on members of the university community as well as the challenge of under-payment of salaries which have further compounded the situation. The University Management will continue to look inwards at ways of resolving the financial challenges arising from the shortfall of the revenue allotted the University, which in itself was due largely to the quantum drop in the price of crude oil on the world market”.
Olayinka, who further promised that his administration would continue to improve on the modest achievements of staff promotion as and when due said, “The outstanding issues with our Staff School which arose from management’s compliance with the directives of the Federal Government are being resolved. We are very keen on maintaining the enviable pedigree of the School and improvement of its fortunes. For the avoidance of doubt, the management of UI is not going to sack any of the teachers in the School.
“Be assured that the university management has strong stakes in all the unions and the assumption that some are being marginalised or less preferred is an erroneous claim. The university community can only thrive and prosper with the understanding and support of all members and by inference all the unions. The utmost concern of this administration is to improve the quality of life of staff which would culminate in better performance of staff at work – teaching or research. We are, therefore, certain that plans that will alleviate current economic challenges will be evolved”