Despite the purported announcement of resumption by the management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, the strikings workers on Monday insisted that the gates of the institution remained until the demands of the workers are met by the state government.
The management had at the weekend directed all students to resumed after about nine weeks of strike occasioned by the academic and non-academic staff unions across the six tertiary institutions owned by the Oyo state government.
Particularly, the management had on Saturday asked new students to begin payment of acceptance fee from Monday while announcing January 15, 2017 as the date for resumption for the 2017/2018 session.
But, the Chairman, Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the trade unions of the six Oyo state-owned tertiary institutions, Mr Babatunde Adeniyi said that the services of its striking staff remain withdrawn.
According to the accounts of some students who had stormed the school entrance gate to resume in accordance to the directive of the management, members of the striking Non-Academic Staff Union who were on hand to ensure that the directive was defiled ensure both the student and staff were denied entrance into the institution.
The accounts added that although the some of the students were almost making things go out of hand, the NASU officials took the pain to explain the implications of the government decision that led to the strike action to the students.
Speaking on why the staff union picketed the institution and ensure the gates remained closed, Adeniyi insisted that the Oyo state government must settle its salary arrears before the unions would call off their two months old strike.
“We picketed The Polytechnic, Ibadan, because Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) has withdrawn their services and we are here to ensure that the gate remains closed.
“What the two unions, (NASU and SSANIP) are saying is that their services still stays withdrawn as long as the strike declared by the six institutions as a result of the reduction of salary to 25 percent by the Oyo state government still remains.
“They can’t resume until we suspend our strike. The six unions declared the strike on November 2, 2017, and this remains. Their services stay withdrawn and the strike continues until the government of Oyo state does the needful,” Babatunde said.
Meanwhile, state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela maintained that the state only gives support in form of monthly subvention to the tertiary institutions, adding that there is no month all the institutions don’t get “something” from the state government but in varying amounts.
Olowofela who stated this, on Monday, said the state did not owe salaries of tertiary institutions’ staff but that it provided subventions to the institutions just as it paid out workers’ salaries.
He pointed out that government only support the institutions since they all generate some revenue on their own and spend same without the government interference.
He harped on the need for the management of the institutions to be ingenious on generating revenue internally and prioritizing how they expend the subventions they get.
Olowofela, however, said that the state government would, in the next two weeks, name the governing council for the state-owned tertiary institutions, to give lasting recommendations on resolving the impasse.