EXPECTATIONS of workers of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, who transferred their services to Osun State University, Osogbo, have not been met, investigations have revealed.
It would be recalled that about 82 workers of LAUTECH, who are indigenes of the State of Osun, transferred their services to UNIOSUN early this year, following the dissolution of joint ownership of the university by Osun and Oyo state governments.
However, findings by OSUN DEFENDER on the welfare and conditions of service of the LAUTECH-turned-UNIOSUN workers revealed that they are yet to be fully integrated into the UNIOSUN system.
As at the time of filing this report yesterday, none of the LAUTECH returnees had been put on the payroll of UNIOSUN, neither had they been given an identity card.
But all the workers had been given appointment letters and had been assigned duties by the UNIOSUN management.
It was gathered that so far, the workers have not also been fixed on a particular salary and have always been paid different amounts as salaries since they joined UNIOSUN.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that some of the LAUTECH-turned-UNIOSUN workers had been making frantic moves to return to LAUTECH because of the disappointment they are facing.
The medium talked to the workers and they lamented that they had not been integrated into the UNIOSUN system five months after their transfer of services.
According to some of the workers who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity, the management of the university and the State Government of Osun had not been fair to them on their welfare.
Complaining about irregular payment of salaries, the workers said the management of the university and the state government had not put them on a fixed salary, claiming that they had been paid different amounts of salaries since they resumed in the institution.
The medium gathered that about 50 per cent of the workers had shown interest in going back to LAUTECH, if they had the opportunity.
One of the workers said: “The management of UNIOSUN has been unfair to people from LAUTECH who transferred their services to the university as workers of Osun State University. They are seeing us as outsiders. Till date, they have not put us on the payroll. We’ve not been incorporated into the salary structure of UNIOSUN, and that has been causing suffering for us.
“We are not being paid accurate salaries, and not being paid at the same time UNIOSUN workers are paid. In the last five months, we have been paid different amounts of salaries; no two months have been the same. And the management of UNIOSUN has made sure that the payslips are not made available, for us not to know the actual amount to be paid or why we are being paid a particular amount.
“So, for each month, we receive different amounts of salaries. And the salary amounts keep on reducing every month, it is important to note that. We were told that it is the State Government that is paying us with available funds in the sense that, it is what the government makes available to UNIOSUN that the management will share to everyone of us that came from LAUTECH.
“In the real sense of it, we are yet to be integrated into UNIOSUN. The university has been paying its original workers the accurate amounts of salaries as at when due, while refusing to augment the salaries of the LAUTECH returnees with the Internally Generated Revenue, in spite of the fact that it has been making use of the workers. We have been actively involved in the generation of IGR across the six campuses of UNIOSUN. This is not fair to us.
“At the same time, UNIOSUN management are meting out preferential treatment on Pay As You Earn taxes. What the LAUTECH returnees are paying is more than what the UNIOSUN workers are paying on taxes. And this has been frustrating a lot of us.
“Some of us are ready to go back to LAUTECH if the opportunity is open. More than 50 per cent of us are ready to leave because we are disappointed with what we are experiencing here. We are being treated as if we are fresh employees, whereas we transferred our services. This is the fifth month of our transfer of services and if we have not been integrated into the system till now, it calls for serious concern.”
Another worker of the university accused the UNIOSUN management of tactical discrimination against the LAUTECH returnees.
He said: “Why I am accusing the UNIOSUN management of discrimination is that none of us (the LAUTECH returnees) have been given identity cards, though they promised to do that. We are yet to be on the payroll of the university.
“When the university wanted to appoint new Heads of Departments and we had three professors at the Medical Laboratory Science Department who were from LAUTECH, hitherto there was nobody in the department. Although on the record of UNIOSUN, only one among the three was a professor, the two others were readers because their professorship was just approved two weeks ago in LAUTECH.
“In spite of that, the university supposed to appoint one of the three as HOD but it did not. Instead, the management asked the Dean of the faculty to be superintending over the department.
“We have cases like that in some other departments. We were told by some of the UNIOSUN workers that unionism blood is running in our veins, that we need to learn the UNIOSUN culture before we could be given appointment.
“Sizeable numbers of those who transferred their services to UNIOSUN are now willing to go back to LAUTECH if there is opportunity because of the disappointment here.
“The State Government of Osun has not been fair to us. Our hope is dashed already. The government should be able to call the UNIOSUN management to order in doing the right thing. We cannot be in our state and still be suffering.”
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Ademola Adesoji, said the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Labo Popoola, has addressed all the issues raised by the workers in July in a meeting he held with them.
Adesoji dismissed the allegation of discrimination against the LAUTECH returnees, saying that there is no reason to do that because they have all become workers of UNIOSUN.
The P.R.O. said: “The Vice Chancellor of the university had held a meeting with them (LAUTECH returnees) in July, where he addressed them and assured them that the payment of their salaries is a priority to him. The Deputy Registrar (of LAUTECH), Mrs. Oguntunde was the Secretary of the meeting and she did the extract of the meeting and sent to all of them.
“UNIOSUN is not responsible for the payment of their salaries yet; it is the State Government that is paying them directly. Their salaries are not in UNIOSUN budget yet.
“The issue of the ID card, the machine producing the card was having issue and it has been fixed. Making all the ID cards is currently in progress. They are not the only ones affected by that. Some staff of UNIOSUN, even 100 and 200 level students of the university are affected too. Some of the people complaining are working in the department that is producing the ID card. I see that as no issue.
“Being on the payroll of the university is a process and they are collecting their salaries, they should not entertain fear. The university is working on getting them on the payroll. They should be patient with the university.
“There is nothing like discrimination in UNIOSUN. All these issues have been addressed by the VC. We are all working in one university. The fact that the management is appointing or not appointing some people as HOD is not an issue.
“We have a standard and system that we follow in every appointment. If it is not in their turn today, it will be theirs tomorrow. They should wait and learn the standard practice and requirements that we use in making appointments.”