Poly workers protest, declare work-to-rule in Ogun over unpaid salaries, arrears

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Sodiq Ojuroungbe

Academic and non-academic of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori-Ewekoro in Ogun state have declared “work-to-rule” over the non-payment of salaries and allowances by the management of the polytechnic.

The workers comprises of members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic.

Speaking on behalf of the workers, the chairman of ASUP in the polytechnic, Comrade Oyefusi Adebayo said the workers will not resume until the management of the polytechnic meet up with their demands.

Their demands include the payment of their salaries and deductions, as well as promoting the deserving staff of the institution.

Adebayo also called for the immediate resignation of the rector, Prof. Alfred Fatade and the polytechnic’s registrar, Adebayo Ogundimu.

The ASUP chairman explained that the work-to-rule became necessary after the management allegedly failed to fulfill the agreement in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two parties during government’s intervention in the crisis of the polytechnic last year.

He said, “we are here on a protest against the management of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic in person of Prof. Alfred Fatade and the staff are showing their grievances because we have been having dialogue and we always hope that things will be okay, but things are not okay.

“Our school portal system has collapsed because if you view the portal, you will see Tai Solarin University of Education in D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic showing that somebody somewhere is managing the portal over there from where our rector came for.

“The government wades into the crisis sometimes last year at the climax of the crisis and there were amicable resolutions.

“We resume our work to rule hoping that all will be done, but this management wanted to play on staff intelligence and the Rector wants to outsmart us in every area because when the union go to meet him, he will be asking us to source for children so that they can be paying us our salaries.

“Having catalogs of problems we are facing which is in the domain of the government, we demand for immediate resignation of our rector and Registrar or the government should sack them.

“We want government to come and look into our problems and if any investigation is lodge, the union are ready to cooperate with them, because we feel that there are so many fraud being penetrated by the rector and registrar in disguise.

“We want all our salaries to be released as at when due. This is the month of February, our children have been sent out of school because we incapable of paying their school fees.”

Also, the Chairman of SSANIP, Comrade Muritala AbdulAzeez accused the rector of allegedly planning to destroy their academic career.

He said, “today, all members of D.S Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic have taken a fundamental decision and we have embarked on work to rule. The lecturers will stop going to classes, the non-teaching staff will stop working in their offices.

“We are determined to forge ahead with this struggle, and to liberate our people because they have suffered so much.

“We want the rector and his registrar who has been the rector’s backbone in destroying our career and future to resign their appointments immediately or the governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun should sack them immediately.

“For the whole of last year, it was dialogue with the management and the government and the SA on tertiary education was fully involved in it and we embarked on engagement and we resolve that MOU should be produced to represent our resolutions to them.

“Unfortunately, since last year, the management has set aside the MOU and defiance to the directive of the government. We know the government is not aware that we are in this mess, all they do is to write frivolous and lie to the government telling governor what is not going here.

“They have misrepresented all members of staff of this institution and as intellectuals and scholars, we demand that they should leave because they don’t understand how polytechnic is being run.”

Meanwhile, the Rector in a counter reaction said the management has fulfilled 90 per cent of the demands of the workers.

Fatade stressed that the agitations of the workers were for an alleged hidden and selfish agenda.

He maintained that the polytechnic is not aware of the work-to-rule action and necessary actions will be taking.

He said, “The work-to-rule action is news to me, and while they were having their protest, we were discussing with the government. We just finishing having meeting with the permanent secretary and all their demands are the same issue that they have been agitating for since last year. Virtually, more than 90 per cent of their demands have been cleared, the only pending issues is remittance of pension deduction.

“The workers at D.S Adegbenro ICT have collected November salary and December, 2019 salary file has been taken to the governor since last week Monday. What we can say is outstanding right now is January Salary.

“It is when the students pay that the institution will be able to pay, because we use your IGR to pay with the subventions given by government. Not until when students pay, you cannot get money to execute anything.

“They have hidden agenda that they cannot come out to say and that is the selfishness on the union. It is not all the unions that are part of the protest; the non-academic staff did not support them. The selfishness of the few leaders of ASUP and SSANIP, they have their hidden agenda”.

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