The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has called on the Osun State governor, Gboyega Oyetola to intervene in the alleged tyrannical actions going on at the Osun State University (UNIOSUN).
SSANU accused the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Labode Popoola of leading a management that allegedly victimises of members of the Union and those of other non-academic staff unions – the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
In a statement sent to EduCeleb.com on Wednesday, the SSANU National Public Relations Officer, Abdussobur Salaam, expressed the union’s worries about the “unlawful and irregular suspensions” of the leaders of the three non teaching unions “for staging protests over the obnoxious stand of the University Management on worker issues.”
Among issues of contention are the unpaid Earned Allowances of the non-teaching staff since December last 2016 which had led to local strikes by the unions.
The invocation of the “no work no pay” order by the university’s management irked SSANU, which accused the management of “approving for itself bogus allowances and allocating huge benefits to themselves including cars and other luxuries” even after claiming lack of funds.
The Vice-Chancellor is yet to respond to text messages sent to his mobile number for reaction to the allegations by SSANU.
The union, in the statement, charged Governor Oyetola to investigate allegations of mismanagement in the school, ensure the recall of victimised staff, and the payment of owed arrears owed to the non-teaching staff.
SSANU also sought the governor’s intervention on the “reinstatement of the union check off dues in compliance with relevant Trade Union laws”, relying on Oyetola’s goodwill for improving the education sector in the state.
Read the statement below.
GOVERNOR OYETOLA: THE STORM IN OSUN STATE UNIVERSITY AND A CALL FOR THE INTERVENTION OF THE VISITOR
Compelled by the recent unsavoury developments at the Osun State University, Osogbo, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities hereby makes this public call for the speedy intervention of the Governor of Osun State, who is also the Visitor to the University.
SSANU is worried about the tyrannical and despotic disposition of the Management of the University, led by Professor Labode Popoola who has gradually led the University into a descent to indecency by his indecorous decisions and actions. These actions have reached the lowest depth with the unlawful and irregular suspensions of the leaders of the three non teaching unions of NAAT, NASU and SSANU for staging protests over the obnoxious stand of the University Management on worker issues. Prior to then, the Management had directed a “no work,no pay” rule on staff who had participated in a local strike to protest the non payment of Earned Allowances which had been approved for staff of the University since December 2016. This refusal of Management to pay the Earned Allowances in the name of lack of funds, fell flat in the eyes of the staff who saw a Management approving for itself bogus allowances and allocating huge benefits to themselves including cars and other luxuries. Following the strike action by the unions, the Management decided to withhold the salaries of staff for the months of May and June 2018 in the name of “no work, no pay”.
The “no work, no pay” rule implementation, which we find totally unacceptable is even considered worse, because of the double standards involved in the implementation, as it is recorded that a sister union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had similarly embarked on a strike and their salaries were not withheld. We are then forced to wonder why the double standards if not an attempt at divide and rule among the unions, with an intent to cause disaffection and ill will between the unions in the university.
The matter has further been compounded by the recent illegal directive of the Management stopping union check off dues. This we see, as an attempt to stifle and cripple the unions in order to ensure that their obnoxious anti worker policies continue unchecked without the vigilant scrutiny of the unions as the conscience of the University. With this decision to stop check off dues by the UNIOSUN management, they have shown gross disrespect for the Trade Union laws of the Country which should not be tolerated by the Government of Osun State.
The situation has also been further exacerbated and compounded by the seeming inability of the Governing Council, led by renowned lawyer, Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN, to put the Vice- Chancellor and Management in check. The National Leadership of the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU had engaged the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council in seemingly fruitful discussions on the unfortunate situation in the University but developments following, had shown a seeming inability of the Governing Council and it’s Chairman to rein in the rampaging Vice Chancellor who is gradually turning himself into a bull in a China shop.
We describe Osun State University as a China shop because it is still a nascent university struggling to find its feet in the comity of Universities in Nigeria talk less of globally. The university is still at the fragile stages where it cannot afford the nature of industrial actions that could mar the good name that the University has started building for itself. With Professor Labode Popoola at the helm, and particularly given his penchant for causing crisis, we are forced to request that the Visitor to the University intervenes to ensure the situation deteriorates no further.
Based on the foregoing, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerians Nigerian Universities, hereby makes this public call for the speedy intervention of the Visitor, Osun State University, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, with a view to:
- Investigating the various allegations of infractions in the Osun State University with a view to restoring good governance and development.
- Recall of all staff, especially the leaders of the three non teaching unions of NAAT, NASU and SSANU in the university, who are being victimized because of their union activities.
- Payment of salaries of staff for the months of May and June 2018,which were withheld because of their participation in a lawful union activity.
- Reinstatement of the union check off dues in compliance with relevant Trade Union laws.
SSANU as a union, shall await the action of His Excellency, while noting that inaction on this matter portends grave dangers for the University. We expect and believe that the passion of His Excellency for the educational sector shall be brought to bear in ensuring that the unsavoury events of Osun State University are quickly put behind us.
National Public Relations Officer
Senior Staff Association of Nigerians Nigerian Universities
2nd January 2019