…retrenched workers call on the state government to check the excesses of VC
The management of Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State, has sacked 184 workers of the institution.
Acting Registrar of the Polytechnic, Mr. B.L. Ojo signed the sack letters stating that the institution no longer required the services of the affected staff members.
“I have the directive to terminate your Part-Time Appointment with the institution by giving you a month’s notice. The termination takes effect from 2nd July, 2021,” part of the letter read.
The action is coming few weeks after the workers took to the streets to protest alleged casualisation by the institution’s management.
Spokesperson for the workers, Adekunle Lookman had said the protest was staged to demand the regularisation of their appointments.
Lookman also accused the polytechnic management of paying lip service to their welfare, lamenting that they were poorly paid.
“Some of us had been recruited since 2011 as casual staffers, with N20,000 monthly salary, which was later increased to N30, 000 before tax deduction.
“We want people to know that the state government is cheating us and they are calling us slaves for working for them,” he had said during the protest.
“About 187 of us (teaching and non-teaching), with families and dependants, taking home less than N30,000 a month. It is disgusting.
“Worse still, they have refused to regularise our appointment, even after using us for accreditation of some of the courses.”
Lookman said the protest was necessary because the government had turned deaf ears to their demands, adding: “They are happy as we continue to suffer.”
Another worker, Adebayo Samson, said the government had issued a white paper on the regularisation of their appointments, wondering why it had refused to implement it.
“This is a copy of the white paper that was issued in 2019 but up till today, it has not been implemented.
“What is happening to us here is nothing but modern-day slavery and cheating, hence our resolve to embark on this peaceful protest,” Samson had said.
Reacting to the latest development, Kola Akanbi asked Governor Seyi Makinde to intervene and prevent the acting management of the Polytechnic, led by Engineer M.B Fasasi from giving his ‘good administration a bad name.’
He said, “Not minding the good works and reputation of the Governor, the management of The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki (TOPS) has decided to give him (the governor) a bad reputation by terminating the appointment of 184 casual/part-time workers of the institution.
“The sacked staff have been working with the institution, some for 10 years, some 8, some 6, some 4 while they are being paid stipend of not more than N30,000. They are holders of BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees. They have helped the institution during accreditations and have been working to help the institution.
“On 3rd June, 2021, the casual/part-time staff were issued termination of appointment letter by one Mr Ojo B.L., the acting Registrar of the institution. On whose directive did Mr Ojo act? Government? Governing Council or Management of the institution? This remains a mystery because the government of Engr Seyi Makinde, that is giving hope to the people could not have given a directive to terminate their appointments.
“The Council of the institution could not also have directed it either. Did the management of the institution, under its acting Rector, Engr M.B. Fasasi, deem it fit to terminate their appointments after working for more than a decade with the institution? One would wonder, what the management wants to gain from laying off 184 casual staff of the institution who are saddled with the bulk of teaching and instructional activities in various academic units.
“To further worsen the situation, the termination letter also states that: ‘However, you may wish to re-apply if you are still interested in rendering your services to this great noble institution.’ Why lay them off in the first instance if you still want them to re-apply? Are there arrangements made for the years wasted? These casual/part-time staff members have been helping in upholding the institution in that they have been used to man departments where there are no permanent staff members on the ground.
“While institution like The Polytechnic, Ibadan has placed an internal advertisement to take care of the interests of their casual staff, the callous acting management in TOPS can only think of termination of appointment. Mr Ojo B.L. who acted as APC (All Progressives Congress) collation officer in the last regime should not be allowed to tarnish the image the image of our dear Governor.
“The Executive Governor is implored to look into this situation to prevent the school from further disintegration. Since this acting Management assumed office, the vehicle of the institution has been in reverse gear. A visit to the school will prove that instead of progressive and forward movement, it has been from one problem to another. Under this management, there has been division, chaos, and crisis of all sorts. Now, they have laid off 184 staff members for reasons best known to them. Why the hurry, when you know the substantive management will soon be put in place?
“Your Excellency sir, you are appealed to wade in so as prevent the acting management of TOPS under Engr Fasasi M.B. from giving your good administration a bad name, which it does not deserve. We also want the Visitor to investigate the clandestine motive behind this mass sacking.”