The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the Kogi State University, Anyigba, on Tuesday refuted the claim of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, over payment of salaries to at least 95 percent of workers in the state.
The union said only 242, which is 46.81 percent of the total 517 of the academic staff members have so far received salaries up to March 2017.
The chairman of ASUU-KSU, Dr Daniel Aina, who stated this while addressing newsmen on the campus of the institution, said 275 academic staff, representing 53.19 percent are being owed salary arrears ranging from three to twelve months.
He said, “The 95 percent payment being peddled runs short of any conceivable correlation with the reality on ground. The government by its action has made it very difficult to be believed or taken by its word”.
The union explained that the state government had not demonstrated enough commitment to the timely resolution of the issues that led to the strike that the members embarked upon on February 3, 2017.
Aina said while the reconstitution of the governing council of the institution was commendable, “the more important obligation that is incumbent upon every employer of labour both lawfully and morally, that is, the payment of salaries and their components has not been addressed”.
The ASUU-KSU listed the categories of its members affected by the non-payment of salaries to include contract staff, staff on sabbatical leave, 2015 employees and staff studying overseas.
Aina noted that employment in universities is based on academic needs, adding that the engagement of the 2015 academic staff in KSU followed due process.
He said, “ASUU KSU makes bold to say that without these categories of staff, several academic programmes in some Departments in the Faculties of Agriculture, Education, Natural Sciences and College of Health Sciences will cease to function.
“This will lead to denial of accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in such Departments/Faculties/College. Such an eventuality will take the University back to the dark days of 2005, when virtually all the programmes in the University failed accreditation.”
On the academic staff studying overseas, the union regretted the pathetic condition of the affected staff as they had not been paid for twelve months.
“There is a justifiable fear that the affected staff might not want to return to KSU upon the completion of their programme. The implication of that on the academic development of the University is obvious.
“ASUU KSU as a stakeholder in the University system and desirous of seeing to a speedy resolution of the ongoing impasse, hereby calls on Council and the Kogi State Government to ensure the payment of all arrears of salaries and their components (balance of February 2017 salary, EAA and annual incremental step) owed all its members till date,” Aina added.
Credits: Yinka Oladoyinbo | Tribune