Edo varsity workers protest over 11 months unpaid salaries

Governor Godwin Obaseki

Workers of Edo Government-owned Tayo Akpata University of Education on Monday protested over 11 months unpaid salaries and pension.

The workers, who protested before the state Head of Service (HoS), Mr Anthony Okungbowa, lamented that their families had been made to suffer, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

They urged government to stop playing politics with their lives and demanded that without further delay, the government should pay their 11 months outstanding salaries.

Mr Fred Omonuwa, the Chairman, College of Education Academy Staff Union (COEASU), addressed the gathering on behalf of other unions in the institutions.

While lamenting that the government had stopped payment of subvention to the institution, the unions urged the government to commence 100 per cent payment of the subvention.

“It is pertinent to note that the Edo government used to pay inadequate subvention to the college owing to the 65/35 per cent counterpart salary payment agreement between government and college management.

“It is even now more worrisome that the state governor has gone ahead to stop the inadequate subvention to the college.

“The economic and social activities of the host communities are completely dead.

“We and our families deserve to live. Non-payment of salaries is certainly not a new way of doing things.

“The government has received several monies through the Paris Club refund, bail-out funds from Federal Government and funds from different organisations as COVID-19 palliatives.

“Yet, government has continually refused to pay us our salaries, pension and gratuities,” Omonuwa said.

Meanwhile, the government has promised to release one month subvention to the institution.

The workers, however, rejected the government’s position which was made known to them by the HoS, who led the government delegation to address the workers.

According to the workers, the one-month subvention will  not be enough to offset one month of the salary arrears.

It will be recalled that the former College of Education was converted to Tayo Akpata University of Education in 2014 and had remained shut for over two years now but the workers were not laid off.