OAU staff threaten indefinite strike action over withheld salaries

By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Joint Action Congress (JAC) at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if their withheld four-month salaries are not paid.

Dr. Taiwo Arobadi, the Chairman of SSANU, disclosed this during a peaceful protest held at the OAU campus. He stated that the protest was in response to the Federal Government’s failure to pay their salaries, despite promises made by the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman.

Arobadi revealed that during a recent meeting with the Minister, SSANU and JAC were informed that a report had been sent to President Bola Tinubu in March, awaiting his approval.

“But presently, we are confused because we don’t know whether the Minister or President is deceiving us,” Arobadi remarked.

He further criticized the recent meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, which was only attended by the Permanent Secretary and other labor officers, not the Minister herself.

Arobadi recounted that the unions had previously suspended a strike in 2022 based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum of Action (MoA) agreed upon with the Federal Government, which stated that no one would be victimized.

He stressed that the failure to pay the withheld salaries constitutes victimization.

The SSANU Chairman issued an ultimatum, demanding that the government instruct the relevant Ministers to pay the owed salaries by July 18.

According to him, If the salaries are not paid by then, the unions will embark on an indefinite strike.

Arobadi further appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to urge the government to address the issue, highlighting that the union members are also parents with children in tertiary institutions and do not want their education to be jeopardized.

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