Ondo varsity workers protest unpaid N35,000 wage award at convocation 

Workers of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee of all Tertiary Institutions, on Monday, protested against the non-payment of the N35,000 wage award by the state government.

The state government had begun to pay the state civil servants the wage allowance since November 2023 but the workers of the tertiary institutions were yet to be paid.

Following the development, the staff of the institution embarked on an indefinite strike last week.

The organised labour unions of the Joint Action Committee comprise members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists, all of Ondo State-owned tertiary institutions.

The protesters who were chanting solidarity songs carried placards of various inscriptions such as, ‘All we are saying, pay us wage award,’ ‘We deserve N35,000 wage award, pay us,’ ‘Wage award is our right don’t deny us,’ ‘We patronise the same market, pay us N35,000 wage award,’ amongst others.

Speaking at the protest, the state JAC Chairman of the institution, Dayo Temola, expressed displeasure over the alleged inability of the government to pay the wage award and some other allowances.

Temola said, “Our joint demand is that they should pay us our N35,000 wage award that had been paid to all categories of workers in the state. We are also demanding the implementation of the 2019 minimum wage.

“We are in 2024, yet we have not got the 2019 minimum wage. It is shameful and we patronise the same market as other workers who have been receiving. Everybody knows what is currently going on in the country; even our current salaries can’t take us to the office again for a month.

“We also demand that the monthly subvention of the school should be increased by 100 per cent. The government promised us N91 million on paper and has been giving us N63 million. It is far lower than the wage bills of the university. As we speak, the university owns billions of naira from cooperatives and some other allowances. That is our agitation.”

It was gathered that the state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was in the institution for the convocation, appealed to the angry workers.

He was said to have scheduled a meeting with the union leaders of the university on Tuesday.

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