Scores of teachers of the University of Ibadan, Staff School, Ibadan, on Monday staged a peaceful protest to demand for their immediate reinstatement for been removed from the institution’s payroll in about two years now.
The peaceful protest, according to the Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), University of Ibadan, Comrade Wale Akinremi and its NASU counterpart, Comrade Malachi Etim, was meant to impress it on the management what the teachers have been experiencing for over two years now that the institution had removed them from its pay roll.
Nigerian Tribune reported that the teachers whose facial expressions summarised their tales in the last 24 months said their careers, welfare and future had been decimated and toyed with, the decision they said a competent court of law had vindicated them on.
The teachers who freely discussed their predicament lamented that they have been unable to carry out their parental responsibilities in their individual families.
They carried placards with various inscriptions like: “UI staff school teachers sign monthly salary returns, yet no payslips, no records, we demand explanation,” “reinstate UI staff school teachers now”, “UI management reinstate staff school teachers into the payroll now!”, ” UI staff school teachers receive the Federal Government counterpart funding of the contributory pension scheme, yet UI management claims they are not on the payroll. How is this possible?”, “UI, the first and the best, learn from other universities,” among others.
They trekked from the staff school within the premises to the institution’s central administrative block chanting solidarity songs where SSANU Chairman, Akinremi addressed them and later went upstairs to discuss with the representatives of the management.
The chairman, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, Mr Emmanuel Adeleye and other union executives also joined the protesting staff in the protest. The procession however alerted the university community of their travails in recent times.
Akinremi who said about 65 teachers are currently affected further disclosed that the union took up the matter after a congress resolution, and had written a letter dated May, 2019, in that direction to the vice chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka.
He added that when the management tarried in honouring the letter or even acknowledged it, they resolved to public protest to press home their demand. He added that they are ready to work with the management to finally laid the matter to rest.
The SSANU Chairman said “the whole scenario emanated from a letter from the Federal Government which was misinterpreted to remove teachers of staff school from pay roll of federal universities. The same Federal Government took us to the industrial court and specifically in suit number NICN/ABJ/82/2016, judgment dated December 5, 2016, ruled in favour of the staff unions upholding that the university shall bear the full capital and recurrent costs of university staff primary schools.
“As I am talking to you, three years after this judgment, the teachers have not been returned to the payroll of the university. Information at our disposal, on the premise of the judgment of the National Industrial Court, indicates that most universities which responded to the earlier circular from the Permanent Secretary, salaries incomes and wages commission have reinstated the teachers of their staff schools back to the payroll. University of Jos, Federal University of Technology Akure, (FUTA), University of Ilorin, University of Abuja, University of Lagos, all federal universities have concurred. Why is the case about University of Ibadan different? ”
He said SSANU had written a three page letter signed by himself as SSANU Chairman and secretary, Comrade Abiodun Omisore, to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Olayinka on May 6 titled “Staff school matters’ where it expected the management to give them audience to resolve the matter.
He notes that when this option did not yield ‘even a single acknowledgement of the letter, we were forces to take this particular option.’
After the address, the teachers decided to sit at the entrance of the main entrance of the administrative block, till the deputy vice chancellor, Professor Ademola Ekanola came on behalf of the vice chancellor to address them.
Ekanola assured the teachers that the management is aware of the court judgment, but appealed that the Federal Government has not provided the fund to implement the court judgment.
He said “the management is not insensitive to your plight and we are not working at cross purposes. The management met in April and the vice chancellor even said where he expressed his sense of priority for the teachers of the staff school. I have visited the school and met with the principal about three times in an attempt to to find last solution to the problem.”
He also revealed that the vice chancellor wants better condition for the teachers that, ”very shortly, we will sit down and discuss before the week runs out. Arrangement is being made to pay salary before the end of this week and we will also meet before the week runs out as the management is preparing something for you.”