Month: November 2014
Una Kuku know say we no de blow grammar for wehomezone. But dis matter na grammatical letter wey dem wrote give Oga Governor and if I say make I convert am to pidgin, I fit convert wetin dem no talk join or convert wetin dem talk comot. So I just post am as dem write am. Abeg make una no vex. If you see big grammar just jump am pass or swallow am drink water. Nothing go do you. Oya
JOINT ACTION CONGRESS (JAC)
TAI SOLARIN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
TASCE/JAC/06/Vol.I/153rd November, 2014
Senator Ibikunle Amosun, fca
Office of the Governor,
WHY THE GOVERNMENT MUST RECONSIDER ITS STAND ON THE 48 MONTHS ARREARS AND TEN MONTHS UNPAID SALARIES
It is an open secret that The Tai Solarin College of Education (formerly Ogun State College of Education) was established in 1978 as the first state-owned tertiary institution in Ogun State mainly for the production of manpower for primary and secondary education through the award of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) to qualified students upon the completion of their academic programmes. The College took off initially from Igbeba before it was relocated to Ijagun, via Ijebu-Ode. Following the demise of Dr. Tai Solarin, an educationist and in recognition of his landmark contributions and achievement in the field of education, the College was renamed after him by the Ogun State government. Let it be stated that ex-student of the College have distinguished themselves in all field of human endeavour in view of the qualitative education received. No wonder, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), during the 1999 accreditation exercise rated the College as the best State College of Education and the third best amongst all Colleges of Education (both state and federal combined) in Nigeria.
In view of the monumental progress recorded by the College cum the available human capital, the College in 1998, after twenty years of its existence and training of teachers at NCE level, commenced degree programme in affiliation with the premier University in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan. Not only that, the College was upgraded to a University of Education, the first of its kind in Nigeria in year 2005 while the NCE programmes were run simultaneously with the degree programmes. With this development, all the staff of the College of Education became staff of the University.
The current trauma of the College however commenced in October, 2008, three years after its upgrading to a University when the University Management forcefully and unjustly transferred the services of four hundred and seventy-four staff (474) of the University to a jungle at Omu-Ijebu for the continuation of NCE programmes for reasons yet to be understood. They transferred the services of these staff to the College at Omu contrary to the wish of majority and in contravention of the University’s condition of service/public service rule which only granted the employee to request for such transfer (sample letter of transfer attached). To worsen the disarticulation exercise carried out, the University Management employed over five hundred (> 500) staff to replace the four hundred and seventy-four (474) staff that were unceremoniously and unjustly sent out of the University.
GENESIS OF THE CRISIS
The quality and standard of the working environment where the staff were relocated, Omu, is nothing to write home about. There were no staff offices, no table and chairs, ditto for other office equipment. In fact, the situation then could be tagged ‘begin again’ due to the extent of infrastructural deficit which the staff took in good faith.
Not too long that the College was relocated that the challenge of salary became pronounced. Specifically, since October, 2009, the staff have been subjected to financial deprivation due to non-payment of salary by the government. Between 2009 and November 2014, over ten staff had died untimely due to paucity of fund to cater for their medical expenses while many are suffering from other health challenges due to inability to cater for their medication. As at May 29, 2011, the staff were owed 81/2 months unpaid salaries and 24 months arrears.
Following the change of government in May 29, 2011, an interactive session with Ogun State people was conveyed at your instance at the Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, where you passionately appealed to us that the various staff Unions should suspend the on-going strike to enable the government look into the plight of the Unions. Unfortunately, when the government paid May, June and July 2011 subventions, half salary was paid which has never been hard of and up till now, the outstanding balance of 11/2 months salary was yet to be paid by the government.
With the setting up of the Facts Finding Visitation Panel shortly after your assumption of office, we thought old things had passed away but up till now, the report of the panel is yet to be officially released neither has the government issued out a white paper on the said visitation. What a fruitless effort!
Since you came on board in 2011, barely four years ago, the agony and trauma experienced by staff during the past administration which we thought would vanish has further worsened. Staff salaries are not paid regularly, the practice is 90 days make one month. The Unions made frantic efforts to meet with you but was vehemently resisted. Series of letters were written to you through the offices of the Provost and the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology over the state of infrastructure in the College, unpaid salaries and arrears but all to no avail. It is on record that the Unions have met with the Honourable Commissiner for Education, Science and Technology for seventy-eight times (as early as 7.30am) over the unpaid salaries/arrears but nothing came out of it. If not for the two days protest that preceded your official visit to Ijebu-Ode on Thursday, 16th October, 2014, September 2014 salary would not have been paid on 17th of October, 2014.
Sir, it should be emphasized that while other civil servants in the state inclusive of your kitchen cabinet celebrated El-Del Kabir in affluence, College staff who are Muslims were busy counting the ceilings of their rooms. Students resumed for 2014/2015 academic session, yet, our children were at home when we could not afford to buy the necessary textbooks let alone payment of their school fees just because salaries and arrears are not paid. This is not in tandem with your promise to the Unions that salaries would be paid on or before 6th days of the following month.
It was shocking and amazing that you denied ever owing College Staff any salary/arrears at Ijebu-Ode rally when in actual fact, you acknowledged and admitted during an OGTV live programme on 26th August, 2014 that the government owed College staff and that same would be paid instalmentally after negotiation with the staff Unions in view of the enormity of the value involved. Page 7 of ‘The Nation’ (copy attached, see paragraph X) with the caption ‘Government not owing salaries, says Amosun’ is a confirmation of the fact that government has not paid the ten months salaries and outstanding forty-eight months arrears owed College staff. Up till now, the government is yet to invite the Unions to spell out the modalities for payment of the outstanding salaries/arrears.
Instead, the Honourable Commissioner for Finance whom his counterpart from Education, Science & Technology Ministry assured the Unions would spell-out the modalities for the payment of the outstanding salaries/arrears was quoted to have said that all institutions that paid the arrears did so from their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and that the College should look inward to pay the said arrears. She was also said to have confessed that the College has been enjoying monopoly of 100% payment of subvention which does not go well with other tertiary institutions. The College was subsequently charged to generate revenue to pay the said arrears like other tertiary institutions in the State.
Implications of Government Stand on the Unpaid Salaries and Outstanding Arrears
It is on record that the Honourable Commissioner for Education Science and Technology visited the College after the staff were paid half salaries for the months of May, June and July, 2011 (11/2 months in aggregate) and assured the Unions that the money was available in the coffers of the government and same would be released immediately the Unions suspended their industrial action. The Unions acceded to the plea from the exalted position of the Commissioner but it is gratifying to note that the money which the Commissioner claimed to be in the coffers of the government is yet to cat-walk from Oke-Imosan since 2011. Is this fair?
The government set up an Education Transition Committee headed by Professor S. A. Tella of Olabisi Onabanjo University. The Committee visited all the ten tertiary institutions (College inclusive) in the State and submitted its report but up till now, the effect of the Committee’s report is yet to see the light of the day.
Following the agitations of staff Unions in the College for payment of outstanding salaries and arrears, another fact-finding Committee from the Ministry of Education visited the College and met with the Unions and staff of the College. The Committee came, saw and submitted its reports to the government but same was swept under the carpet.
You would also recall that at your instance, a Facts-Finding Committee headed by Professor Saburi Adesanya, (the incumbent Vice-Chancellor of Olabisis Onabanjo University) visited the College in the year 2011 and met with the various stakeholders. The Committee had since submitted its reports to the government, yet, no positive step has been taken by your administration to look into our plight.
The Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, at your instance, in February, 2012 announced the relocation of the College back to its original location at Ijagun. Over two years after the pronouncement, nothing has come out of the pronouncement.
The Unions wrote a letter through the Offices of the Provost and Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology that Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun falsified the letter head paper of the College and used same to issue transcripts, attestation letters, confirmation of studentship letters, etc to ex-students of the College who graduated under the University of Ibadan Degree programme. Up till now, all the records relating to University of Ibadan degree programme and Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PDE) ran in Affiliation with Adekunle Ajasin University are still in possession of the University (TASUED) and huge amount of money running into several millions of naira had been realized from same since October, 2008. What an injustice!
The University (TASUED) Management promised to pay all outstanding CONTISS/CONUASS arrears of staff whose services were transferred to Omu but as at the time of writing this letter, the University was yet to pay an outstanding balance of fifteen million naira (#15,000,000.00). Yet, the state government is contented with this act while the staff at Omu are at the receiving end.
The Management of the University (TASUED) used the assets left behind by the College at Ijagun to secure bank loan amounting to five hundred million naira (#500,000,000.00) with which severance allowance was paid to Council Members and part used to pay outstanding arrears to staff of the University which the College staff are presently agitating for. Yet, the State government declined the payment of same to College staff.
All the structures of the College which attracted the students prior to relocation were confiscated by the University while the money spinning ventures of the College were unlawfully taken over by the University. Yet, the government wanted the College to be self-sustaining like the University (TASUED).
At the Moment, all the outstanding salaries and arrears which the staff are demanding for had been paid to our counterparts at TASUED, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. Yet, we patronize the same market and our children attend the same school. While we (TASCE) remained indebted to our creditors (inclusive of banks), cannot pay our children school fees, the standard of living of our counterparts at TASUED continued to increase since they have stable income with which they can plan. Unfortunately, all the government could say is for the College to intensify efforts to boost its IGR in order to pay the arrears, whereas, TASCE IGR is TASUED.
The Unions at its congress held on Monday, November 3, 2014 after extensive deliberation on the above issues vis-à-vis the stand of the Government on the unpaid salary and outstanding arrears resolved as follows:
That none of the Unions will embark on strike over the unpaid salaries and arrears.
That the current protest and other forms of industrial action to be determined by the Unions will persist until the government accede to its requests.
That the staff of the College will relocate to the University come Monday, November 10, 2014 to reclaim its assets with which the University has been using to generate income to pay its staff salary inclusive of the demonstration secondary school at Igbeba which has been in existence for years before the advent of the University.
that any consequence emanating from (iii) above should be deemed to have been orchestrated and propelled by the government for its insistence on College to enhance its IGR as communicated through the Provost to the Union in the course of briefing the Unions on Friday, 31st October, 2014 on the outcome of Management meeting with the Honourable Commissioner for Finance.
that the College staff are tired of suffering amidst of plenty and has finally resolved to send away the tenants (TASUED) occupying its territories since that is the only option with which the arrears could be paid internally.
For your information sir, as law abiding citizen of Nigeria who believes in strict adherence to rule of law, the Unions had written the Police, State Security Services to provide protection for the Unions and its members come Monday, November 10, 2014.
Comrade ‘Dan Oludipe (Ph. D)Comrade C. O. Odunola Comrade J. O. Osoba
Chairman, COEASUChairman, SSUCOEN Chairman, NASU
cc:Secretary to the State Government, Ogun State
Chief Of Staff, Ogun State
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education
Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology
Commissioner for Finance, Ogun State
Commissioner for Justice, Ogun State.
Commissioner for Police, Ogun State
Director, State Security Service
Accountant General, Ogun State
Ogun State Attorney General, Ministry of Justice
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science & Technology
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ogun State.
Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas
The Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun
The National General Secretary, COEASU
The General Secretary, NASU Headquarters, Orita, UI, Ibadan.
The Zonal Chairman, SSUCOEN, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo
JOINT ACTION CONGRESS (JAC)
TAI SOLARIN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
TASCE/JAC/06/Vol.I/163rd November, 2014
The Area Commander,
Nigerian Police Force
Igbeaba Command Headquarters,
REQUEST FOR POLICE PROTECTION
The above subject matter refers, please.
Following the resolutions of the Unions at their respective Congresses that the College should relocate to its original site at Ijagun on Monday, 10th November, 2014 (as pronounced by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology in February, 2012) to enable it reclaim its asset in order to generate enough fund to pay the ten months unpaid salaries and forty-eight months arrears owed staff as directed by the State government, we humbly request for Police protection on the said date to make the relocation exercise a hitch-free one.
While thanking you for your previous support especially during the last three day peaceful protest (between Tuesday, 14 and Thursday, 17, October, 2014) embarked upon by the Unions over the non-payment of the said unpaid salaries and arrears, we count on your support and understanding to make the day a successful one.
Please, find attached a copy of the letter written to the. Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on the subject.
Comrade C. O. Odunola Comrade J. O. Osoba
Chairman, SSUCOEN Chairman, NASU
cc:Director, State Security Service, Ijebu-Ode
State Security Service, Odogbolu
Divisional Officer, Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps, Ijebu-Ode
Divisional Officer, Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps, Odogbolu