OBAFEMI Awolowo University has been shut down by the local branch of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of Educational and Associated Institutions.
The strike has paralysed all commercial and all forms of official activities on the campus.
liveschoolnews.org grapevine gathered that the commenced since last Friday, July 3, at the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum given to the management by the union to pay its members 64 months (accumulated) earned allowances.
Chairman of the union, Mr Wole Odewumi, told our correspondent that the earned allowances were part of an agreement signed with the Federal Government since 2009.
He said part of these allowances, ‘Responsibility Allowance’, had been paid by management, but described the payment as being ‘selective’, as only few senior staff were entitled to it.
According to him, the OAU management had refused to pay that which affects the majority of the people – ‘hazard allowance’, which he said had accumulated for 64 months.
Odewumi said: “They implemented the one that concerns them, but the one that concerns majority of the workers, they have left unpaid. We held several meetings with them over the matter. Eventually, we gave them an ultimatum which elapsed last Friday.”
Asked if the university authorities had made fresh offers to the union since the strike started, Odewumi confirmed that management held a meeting with the union on Wednesday, but described what was offered as ‘token’, thus unacceptable.
When contacted on the matter, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, said the university had not paid NASU the allowances because the Federal Government had not paid the money and that this was not peculiar to OAU.
“We issued a circular that as soon as the Federal Government pays the second tranche of that money, we will pay everybody accordingly. We are just appealing to them to give peace a chance and go back to their offices. No federal university in this country has paid that money. They should just give us some time,” he pleaded.
On the allegation of ‘selective payment’, Olarewaju said: “I am not aware of any ‘selective payment’. If they are talking about ‘responsibility allowance’, members of NASU who head units were also paid that allowance.
“Responsibility allowance means if you head a unit and you are not given an official car, but use your money or car to run errands for the university, you are paid a stipend of about N6,000 or N8000. It is not selective.”
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