By ADEWUMI ADEMIJU, Ado Ekiti
Technologists at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), have declared industrial dispute with the management of the institution over unpaid allowances.
The workers under the aegis of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) in the university, said it commenced the strike “pursuant to the 21 working days ultimatum already given to the university’s management to attend to the demands of the union.”
According to the Chairman of NAAT in FUOYE, Mr. Ekundayo Peter Ajibaye, and Secretary, Owoeye Adebayo Johnson, NAAT members were embarking on a three-day warning strike preparatory to a full blown industrial action which, he said, would commence if the management fails to meet their demands.
Ajibaye said one of the reasons for the industrial dispute was the “suspension of payment of N30,000 monthly Occupational Hazard Allowance to Academic Technologists in the university.”
According to him, “Occupational Hazard Allowance is paid by the federal government alongside salary, every month, to academic technologists. The allowance comes with personnel cost monthly and it has been appropriated for by the university, and has been approved by Federal Government.”
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Ajibaye also claimed that “the university has also been paying this allowance as part of salary for four years now,” and noted that “the Vice Chancellor confirmed this, himself, in one of the national dailies in January, where he said that government is responsible for the payment of Occupational Hazard Allowance to Academic Technologists in the University in his response to recent issues in the university.”
He alleged: the management “since January has illegally been deducting the money from our salaries and we have written more than 10 letters without any response.”
Occupational Hazard Allowance, he explained, “is an agreement between our union and the Federal Government as embedded in the 2009 FGN/NAAT agreement. FUOYE has been implementing this for four years now and government has never refused responsibility.”
The association said they want “immediate reversal of the decision to suspend Occupational Hazard Allowance and immediate payment of the three months (January – March 2017) arrears already owed.”
They also demanded “immediate issuance of promotion letters to our members who are due for a promotion and upgrade of the laboratories and workshops occasioned by the increase in students’ intake.”
However, a text message sent to the mobile number of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Kayode Soremekun, was not replied.