The staff of an Oyo State-owned college of education have insisted on not going back to work until the school management of the school pays them, in full, the 16-month salary arrears owe to them.
Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, was among six state-owned tertiary institutions that went on strike in November 2017 over the inability of the schools to pay salaries.
The governing council of the school had offered to pay 70 percent of the salaries owed. But the staff said only the implementation of an agreement reached between them and the College management in January would suffice.
There was "an agreement that 100% salary will be paid and sustained from January 2018," said Oyewumi Samuel, the chairman of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union chapter of the college.
A source told The Guardian that the problem started when the state government slashed the subvention to schools by 50 percent in 2016. And later to 25 percent.
To meet their financial needs, the schools would need to raise school fees and/or reduce staff strength.
Samuel said in the case of the Emmanuel Alayande College, the management has been unable to come up with its own part of the funds needed to pay salaries.
"The inability of the College management to adequately augment the percentiles being released by the government to pay staff 100% monthly salary has led to the present situation of the fractional payment of the salaries whereby staff are owed approximately 13months salary arrears up till December 2017, followed 30% of April 2018, 100% of May and June 2018 respectively, which accumulated to 15months of unpaid salaries," he said.
Human rights activist Femi Aborisade said in a statement that the policy of the state government to reduce subvention to its tertiary institutions would have an adverse impact on education in the state and urged other unions to support the strike actions of the schools' staff.
"The authorities in individual institutions have issued circulars threatening mass sack if they fail to resume work," Aborisade said.
"In other situations, queries are being issued to union leaders in their personal capacities for roles they play in their capacities as union leaders. Indeed, some of the queries are based on absolute falsehood and fabrications."