SIR: Tai Solarin College of Education” (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State has been in the news in the last five years for all manners of reasons. Things reached the climax mid-2017 when the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration stopped payment of salaries and subvention for good 16 months.
The Dapo Abiodun administration assumed the mantle of leadership with promises to put an end to TASCE problems and to restore her lost glory but to their surprise, nothing tangible has been done as the administration continues the payment of half salary to TASCE STAFF till date. Of particular interest is that the Abiodun administration has not paid any amount from the several months salaries owed TASCE STAFF by his predecessors; rather, he is also owing 16 months salaries.
When Governor Abiodun was new elected, he met with the union leaders, led by Dr. Daniel Aborisade during which he promised to tackle the myriad of TASCE problems once and for all. He spoke about educational sector as his priority, recalling that his parents were once teachers before both retired. Unfortunately, they are yet to see any practical and tangible move to ameliorate their problems. Even the white paper of the Visitation Panel is yet to see the light of the day and the Governing Council rather than solving the institution’s financial and welfare problems are preoccupied with their own agenda. In fact, the council chairman is running TASCE as a banana republic. As we speak, just one month into the expiration of the Prince Adeyemi Adesegun Adefulu-led council, representatives of the college staff as enshrined in the enabling law are not allowed to join the council in their meetings and decisions that affect staff mostly are taken without the institution’s representatives.
The non/half-hearted implementation of Prof. Kamaldeen Balogun visitation panel report had led to the continued agitations by workers leading to the arrest of the leaders of the protests and their subsequent arraignment in court on the order of the state governor.
The case against the workers is still in court in the last three years, and the college management has suspended the leaders of the staff union from work since May 2020 without any payments at a time that the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak. At least, it is stated in the State’s Public Service Rules (PSR) that whosoever is under any investigation should be placed on half salary pending when his/her case is sorted or resolved. I don’t really know where they got their rules and regulations for not paying those union leaders their half salaries till date, despite the fact that the case is still in pending the court of law.
Now, the concerned staff of TASCE are calling on the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to come out in clear terms, with his administration’s blueprint for TASCE and to fulfil his electoral promises by paying 100% salary of TASCE workers and payment of their 85 months’ salary arrears. They are also calling on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to make proactive support for TASCE workers’ demands and also to press home the demands of the entire Ogun State workers for payment of the new minimum wage, payment of pension and gratuity, payment of cooperative deductions, leave bonuses, promotions and better working conditions.
The concerned staff of TASCE are also demanding that the Abiodun administration drop all trumped up charges against its union leaders, withdraw their letters of suspension, recall them to their duty posts and stop all forms of vindictive acts. Also, the governor should recall the seven TASCE staff whose appointments were terminated in June 2020, on the ground that they were working in TASCE as NCE holders; he should cause the remittance of pension fund deductions and cooperatives, while setting modalities in place on how other burning issues could be resolved without further delay, topmost of which is the implementation of TASCE staff promotion exercises from 2015 till date.
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