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Osun Can’t Meet Demands of Striking Higher Institution Workers – Aregbesola

Oyewale Oyelola

The hope of students of four Osun state owned higher institutions to resume academic activities after two months old strike was dashed on Tuesday as stakeholders meeting held at governor’s office ended in deadlock.

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola

State of Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed that the government might not meet demands of the four higher institutions staff  due to decrease the monthly federal allocation to the state.

“Our state is indigent, you may cry from now till christ come. This state is indigent. We applied innovations and flexible project financing method to fund all the developmental project you are seeing.

“The state monthly revenue from federation account has dropped from #4.6billion to less than #3billion since June 2013 due to 40 percent decrease in federal revenue. We pay #1billion as salaries/wages and pensions every months.

“The welfare of all our staff is key to our government. My government is managing an impossibility. Looking at the demands of the academic and non-academic staff, you have genuine case but the government might not meet your demands now until the financial condition of the state improves. I have confirm the reason for non-remittance of contributory pension from commissioner of finance and he said ‘there was no money to pay’ Government can not borrow money with higher interest rate to remit to your PFAs.”

Ogbeni Aregbesola informed the union leaders the Commissioner for Human Resources and  establishment has sent delegates to Lagos state to make verification on pension bond associated with Contributory pension, adding the bill for elongation of retirement age from 60-65years is in State House of Assembly for legislative approval.

He however appealed workers in of four affected institutions; Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke, Osun state College of Education, Ila Orangun and Ilesa to resume work in the interest of the students.

The Chairman,the Council of Academic Staff Union of Osun State Owned Tertiary Institutions, CASUOSTI, who doubles as Chairman College of Education Academic Staff Union, Osun State College of Education, Ila Orangun, Comrade Lasisi Jimoh in address at the meeting highlighted the demands of the union which include; elongation of retirement age to 65years, suspension on contributory pension deduction and refund of pension deductions not yet remitted as government claimed they have remitted the pension to PFAs till June 2013.

CASUOSTI other demands are full implementation of Consolidated Polytechnic and College of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS) which government is current paying 90 percent, recruitment of staff with preference for existing Past time, group life assurance for higher institution workers and contract staff and prompt payment of salary.

The representative of Joint Negotiating Council (JNC)  for Non Academic Staff Union in the four state owned tertiary institutions in their presentation noted that 65 years old Retirement age elongation bill at House of Assembly does not cover non academic staff, stating that the bill suppose to cover them also.

JNC added the non payment of neglected allowances such as; Car and housing loan and hazard allowances, and staff migration based on new service scheme released by NABTEB demands listed by Academic staff.

CASUOSTI has vowed not call off the ongoing strike until the government meet their demands. “Government is not showing commitment to meet our demands, the just want to go Lagos to clarify issue of pension bond. They did not see anything bad for not remitting our pension to different PFAs after deduction. No going back on the strike. House of Assembly should give Retirement age elongation bill speedy hearing and government should suspend pension deduction until they sort out all irregularities arising from management of the pension fund”. CASUOSTI maintained.

The stakeholders was attended by Governor Aregbosola, Deputy Governor, Laoye Tomori, Chief of staff to Governor, Alhaji Adegboyega, Special Adviser to governor on Education, Alhaja Mulikat Bello, Commissioner for Human Resources and establishment, executives of Coalition of Academic Staff Union of Osun state owned tertiary institutions and  Joint negotiating council for Non-Academic staff, Governing Council members, Rectors,Provosts and  Student Union leaders of the four affected institutions.

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