Staff of the Edo State Government owned Tayo Akpata University of Education, on Monday, staged a protest over unpaid 11 months salaries and pension.
The workers who registered their protest before the state Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Anthony Okungbowa, lament that their families have been made to suffer untold hardship especially at this period of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
Daily Independent reported that the workers while berating the government for playing politics with their lives, said without further delay, the government should defray their 11 months outstanding salaries.
Mr. Fred Omonuwa, Chairman, College of Education Academy Staff Union (COEASU), addressed the gathering on behalf of other unions of the institutions.
While lamenting that the government has stopped payment of subvention to the institution, the unions urged the government to commence 100 percent payment of subvention to the University.
“It is pertinent to note that the Edo State Government used to bring inadequate subvention to the College owing to the 65/35 percent counterpart salary payment agreement between government and college management.”
“It is even now more worrisome that the state governor has gone ahead stop the inadequate subvention to the College. Some of the implications of this new development and insensitivity of Edo State government are are as follows.”
“The staff as well as the pensioners and their families have been made to suffer untold hardship especially at this period of the ravaging novel Coronavirus disease.”
“Staff of the College and pensioners are currently being owed 11 months salaries with is attendant effect especially inability to access medical facilities due to lack of funds.”
“The economic and social activities of the host communities are completely dead. We and our families deserve to live. Non-payment of salaries is certainly not a new way of doing things.”
“Whereas the government has received several monies through the Paris Club refund, bail-out funds from federal government and funds from different organisations as Covid-19 palliatives, she has continually refused to pay us our salaries, pension and gratuities,” Omonuwa stated.
Meanwhile, the government had promised to release one month subvention to the institution.
The workers however rejected the government position which was made know to them by the HoS who led the government delegation to address the workers.
According to the workers, the one month subvention would not be enough to offset one month of the salary arrears.
It would be recalled that the former College of Education was converted to Tayo Akpata University of Education in 2014 and had remained shot for over two years now.