It has come to our notice that all staff of the Ondo State Owned Tertiary Institutions, namely: Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko; Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa; University of Medical Sciences, Ondo and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo have tactically been exempted from receiving the recently approved #35,000 Salary Award which has been paid to other public servants in the state.
It is on record that Ondo State Government was among the first set of states that implemented the 2019 National Minimum Wage for her workforce but staff of all the tertiary institutions were not paid up till today. Likewise, the recently approved palliative salary award of #35,000.
With this development, history is repeating itself in Ondo State that the staff of these Tertiary Institutions are not part of Nigerian Workers in any way. Is it a sin that we found ourselves in the tertiary institutions as workers? Are we not affected by the removal of the petrol subsidy which necessitated the salary award? Are we patronizing a different markets and fuel stations?
Ondo State as an oil producing state should be a pacesetter for other states to emulate in issues like this! LAUTECH, Ogbomoso was paid the approved #25,000 immediately all the public servants in Oyo State were paid. Lagos State has announced 50% Christmas bonus in addition to the #35,000 salary award. So also, the River State Government has approved payment of #100,000 flat rate for all her workforce as Christmas bonus.
On monthly basis, we are hearing that several Billion of Naira are being received by the Ondo State Government from Federal Government allocation yet nothing to show for it.
We, the Joint Action Committee of Ondo State Owned Tertiary Institutions is hereby calling the attention of our amiable Acting Governor, His Excellency, Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa to do something positive immediately to ensure that we are not exempted from this salary award. We shall not hesitate to close down all the tertiary institutions in Ondo State if nothing is done for us before the first week of January, 2024.
The truth is that none of the institutions in Ondo State can pay this salary award without financial assistance from the state government, the present subvention given to state owned tertiary institution is not even enough to pay 50% of staff salaries.
Alternatively, the state government should handle the payment of this salary award directly for the sake of equity and justice.
We would not guarantee industrial peace in our various institutions if we are not paid our own salary award before the end of December, 2023.
Do not allow us to die untimely because this hardship is too much for us to cope with.
Comrade Tayo Ogungbeni.