By Israel Afolabi
The striking workers of the Osun State University have called off their strike action following the intervention of the State House of Assembly.
The Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Unions (NASU), Mr Isaiah Fayemi, told journalists in Osogbo, on Tuesday, that the joint unions decided to suspend the strike actions after the intervention of the state parliament.
The striking workers had on March 5 embarked on an indefinite strike, demanding the immediate payment of earned allowances, withdrawal of the new conditions of service for lack of the union’s input and reinstatement of staff members purported to have been removed from the payroll.
The suspension of the strike falls within the ultimatum given by the governing council for them to resume, or face the consequences of ‘no-work, no-pay’ policy.
The Registrar and Secretary to the Council, Mr Gafar Shittu, had warned that all non-teaching staff members on strike should resume work on or before the 10th April, 2018, “failing which the extant rules of the University will apply”
The management had directed that a register of attendance be administered in every College and departments for non-teaching staff members who are willing to resume work immediately, saying that any non-academic staff who failed to return to work on or before April 10 would no longer be paid.
Shittu, however, said that the council had agreed during its emergency meeting on Monday that the N300 million balance of the 2014/2015 Earned Allowance would be paid in instalments at N10 million per month beginning from April 30.
Meanwhile, the State House of Assembly has set up an adhoc committee comprising of 15 members to look into the crisis rocking the university and as well study the account of the institution in the last three years.
Speaker of the State Assembly, Dr Najeem Salam who briefed journalists at the end of the closed door meeting with the parties in the crisis on Tuesday at the State House of Assembly Complex, directed that the committee must report back to the House in the next two weeks.
The Speaker, at the meeting had recalled the previous meeting where the union leaders explained their demands, saying the joint meeting was to enable the management explain its own side of the story.
According to him, “it is good to maintain peace at all time, that is why we are all here to find lasting solution to the crisis between management and staff of the institution.
“As a matter of fact, the House can intervene in a crisis and resolve the whole matter once”, he added.
In their separate explanations, the Vice-chancellor of UNIOSUN, Professor Labo Popoola expressed delight at the intervention of the Assembly, adding that the effort is a step on the right direction.
Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Jacob Adekomi and the chairman, Joint Action Committee (JAC), Mr Olalekan Adeoti appreciated the House of Assembly for the step taken to resolve the crises.
In one of the earlier meeting leading to the resolution of the crisis, the Chairman SSANU/Joint Action Committee (JAC), Comrade Adiat Olalekan explained some of the issues in contention as well as efforts made to prevent the strike.
Their grievances, according to him, have to do with funding and the need for review of the university establishment laws, promotion, upgrading and conversion as well as the need to review career structure among others.
He also stated that normal procedure was jettisoned in the appointment of provost for colleges in the university.
The union leaders alleged that out of eight provost so appointed only one is an indigene of Osun.
According to him, “the vice-chancellor was misappropriating the university fund, employing his families and friends to the university and engaging unqualified staff into the system”.
They however decried the situation that led to the strike just as they acknowledged the ability of the parliament to resolve the problem.