Striking Oyo College lecturers, workers call off 4-month industrial action

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Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State

The striking lecturers and non-academic staff of Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Oyo State, have suspended their over four months industrial action with immediate effect.

Besides, the institution’s branch of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, has tendered “unreserved apology” to the management of the college for what it called the deplorable conduct of some of its members on November 1.

The institution’s academic and non-academic staff had been on strike since June 28, 2018, in protest against delayed payment of salary arrears, which the governing council was said to have now decided to clear in installments.

A communiqué indicated that the truce was brokered at a meeting between representatives of the state government, which owned the institution, and all the stakeholders in the college, held at the Ministry of Education, Secretariat, Ibadan, on Sunday.

In the spirit of give and take, the management of the institution also agreed not to press criminal charges against members of the academic staff union at the centre of the “deplorable incident,” details of which the communique was silent upon.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi, led the government’s team to the meeting, while the Chairman of the institutions branch of COEASU, Mr. Olusegun Oyewumi, and other union leaders also attended.

The Provost of the College, Dr. Rasak Adefabi, led the management delegation to the meeting, which was also attended by students unions’ representatives, led by the Chairman of the state’s axis of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS,, Mr. Moronkola Teslim.

The joint communiqué, which was issued at the end of the five-hour parley, indicated that the lecturers would suspend their strike on November 6, following which payment of outstanding salaries would commence immediately, starting with the October 2018 salaries.

The communiqué, signed by all the union leaders, also stated that academic activities would resume fully with immediate effect.

Other stakeholders at the parley were the Chairmen of the institution’s branch of the senior staff union and Non-academic Staff Union, NASU, Segun Adeniji and Fatai Adebayo respectively.

Also in attendance were the NANS Oyo State axis Chairman, Mr. Moronkola Teslim; the college’s Students’ Union President, Mr. Afolabi Lawal, as well as the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry of education, Mrs. Ronke Fatoki, among others.

Meanwhile two separate statements addressed to the college’s governing council chairman and the provost respectively by Oyewumi, on Monday, announced the immediate suspension of the strike, as well as a formal apology to the management of the institution.