Ibadan Poly workers defy resumption order, shut gates, entrances

Striking workers at The Polytechnic Ibadan on Monday defied the last Friday’s resumption order by the management of institution.

The workers, including members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic and Non-Academic Staff Union insisted that the gates of the institution would remain under lock and key until their demands were met by the Oyo state government.

NationReformer.com recalled that management of the institution in a statement issued on Friday by its Registral Mr. H. A. Fehintola had directed students to resume after about nine weeks of strike by the academic and non-academic staff unions in all the six tertiary institutions owned by the state government.

The statement directed new students to begin payment of acceptance fee from Monday while academic activities will commence on Monday January 15 for resumption for the 2017/2018 session.

But, Chairman of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the trade unions in the six institutions, Mr Babatunde Adeniyi declared that the strike was still in force.

Adeniyi insisted that the Oyo state government must settle its salary arrears before the unions would call off their two months old strike.

He said “We picketed The Polytechnic, Ibadan, because Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) has withdrawn their services and we are here to ensure that the gate remains closed.

“What the two unions, (NASU and SSANIP) are saying is that their services still stays withdrawn as long as the strike declared by the six institutions as a result of the reduction of salary to 25 percent by the Oyo state government still remains.

“They can’t resume until we suspend our strike. The six unions declared the strike on November 2, 2017, and this remains. Their services stay withdrawn and the strike continues until the government of Oyo state does the needful,” Babatunde said.

Speaking on the workers’ demands during the 2018 budget analysis on Monday, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela maintained that the state only gives support in form of monthly subvention to the tertiary institutions.

Olowofela noted that the state government did not owe salaries of tertiary institutions’ staff but that it provided subventions to the institutions just as it paid out workers’ salaries.

He pointed out that government only support the institutions since they all generate some revenue on their own and spend same without the government interference.

He tasked management of the institutions to be creative in generating revenue internally and prioritizing how they expend the subventions they get.