The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti Branch, Dr Kayode Arogundade, said on Thursday that the huge arrears of salaries and allowances owed lecturers in the institution had pushed them to the wall.
Arogundade, who said there was a need for the university stakeholders to sit down and fashion ways out to avert calamity in the institution, also called on the alumni association to live up to what they promised while canvassing support for the governor, Biodun Oyebanji, an alumnus, during electioneering.
The ASUU chairman, who spoke in Ado Ekiti after the congress of the union, said the lecturers had given the state government till January 17 to bring together critical stakeholders “to sit down, discuss, and tell us how they will defray what we are owed” to avert a strike.
Speaking on the decision at the congress, the ASUU leader said, “After a thorough evaluation of the New Year message of the governor, who incidentally is an alumnus, members have appealed that, on the honour of Mr Governor and the strength of his message, we should just give one more week, so that by January 17, we will reconvene to take a decision.
“Something drastic must happen in this university; otherwise, the institution will become history. We remain steadfast to the January 17 date when a decision will be made, but I can assure you that we cannot be hungry and decide to go to work on an empty stomach.”
Arogundade added, “In late December, we were paid 50 per cent of our August 2022 salary; we have 12 months of half salary outstanding between 2016 and 2018; in 2018, we have three full months outstanding; we are owed unremitted cooperative deductions; and our retired members are being owed 36 months of pension deduction. We have been made poor and dehumanised as academics.
“We know what the governor inherited, but we want somebody to sit down with us and tell us how these things will be defrayed. It should be on record that the N260m monthly subventions can no longer sustain this university. Our school fees can only augment salaries for five months.”