The Council of Academic Staff Union of Osun State Owned Tertiary Institutions has called on stakeholders in the state to prevail on Governor Rauf Aregbesola to stop cutting down their salaries under any guise.
The lecturers said this in a statement signed by its Chairman, Lasisi Jimoh; Secretary, Olusegun Lana; and Public Relations Officer, Dotun Omisore, and made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Tuesday.
The body consist of lecturers from the two state polytechnics in Ire and Esa Oke, as well as the two colleges of education in Ila and Ilesa.
Jimoh said rather than seeking an end to the ongoing industrial crisis in the institutions, the state government complicated the situation by cutting the lecturers’ salaries.
He stated that the lecturers’ salaries were cut in January 2015 and the trend continued in February. The council also accused the state government of unilaterally pruning off the financial effects of the 2014 promotion.
The statement read, “In our efforts to seek justice amicably, we consulted the state government through the Chief of Staff to the governor and the Head of Service in separate meetings. At those meetings, government admitted our position that the financial effect of 2014 promotions and ‘migration of lower cadre’ are irreversible. We had mutual understanding that our salaries would be paid correctly once the then expected bailout fund is received from the Federal Government.
“Now that the much expected bailout fund has been received, the state government has concluded plans to sustain the payout contrary to the principles of fair play, equity and collective agreement between our union and the government.
“Do we deserve to be short paid when all our outstanding salaries, allowances an leave bonuses were duly factored into the amount requested as bailout?”
The lecturers stated that they did not deserve the kind of treatment the state government was melting out to them having been owed over six months salaries.
Jimoh said lecturers in Osun State-owned institutions were the least paid in the country and at the same time they were the most taxed.
Despite being the least paid, he stated that their workload was much higher than their colleagues’ in other states and Federal Government owned institutions.
Efforts to speak to the media aide to the governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, proved abortive. Calls put across to him did not connect while the response to the text message sent to his telephone was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Socialist Movement has called on the governor to pay full salaries to workers and pensioners.
The DSM said this in a statement signed by its Osun State Coordinator, Mr. Alfred Adegoke, and secretary, Mr. Kola Ibrahim.