LECTURERS of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), Ondo State, have embarked on strike over the non-payment of their salaries for the past 13 months.
The institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), which made this known in a communiqué released on Friday, June 8, said the industrial action begins immediately.
In the communiqué, signed by the union’s chairman, Arikawe Ade, and secretary, Fapetu Damilola, the lecturers declared their refusal to partake in the forthcoming first semester examinations scheduled for next Tuesday unless the government intervenes in the matter.
“We want the payment in full of all outstanding (13 months) salary arrears owed to the staff of the institution,” the communique released by the lecturers said.
“The Congress wishes to strongly emphasise that the decision above is binding on all the financial members of the union.”
The union also expressed deep concerns over its members’ distressing circumstances due to accumulating unpaid salaries.
The communique further noted the adverse effects of the hike in fuel price on the lecturers’ well-being and their ability to fulfil official duties.
The lecturers urged the Ondo State government to assist the institution’s authorities in settling the salary arrears, like the state and local government workers, who are not being owed salaries.
However, the spokesperson of the polytechnic, Samuel Ojo, said the management would meet with the lecturers to resolve the dispute.
“If there is now a problem or an issue to the extent that the lecturers are going on strike, then we will return to the discussion table and resolve them,” he said.
“I can assure you, the matter will be resolved amicably between the school and the lecturers.”
When contacted on the matter, Olabode Richard, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, said he will get back.
But he is yet to do so at the time of filing this report.
The lecturers, in 2019, staged a protest over the same unpaid salary arrears but returned to work after promises were made that the salaries would be paid.