Protest rocks OAUSTECH over sacked workers
Workers at Olusegun Agagu University Protest Alleged Dismissal of Colleagues
Workers at the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, on Wednesday, staged a protest, against the alleged dismissal of over 35 of their colleagues by the school’s governing council.
It was gathered that all the concerned workers received their sack letters on Tuesday, raising panic on the campus of the state government-owned institution.
The protesting workers, who shut the school’s main gate and blocked the entrance preventing people to go out or coming to the campus, were chanting various solidarity songs to express their bitterness over the development.
It was gathered that the sack of the affected workers was approved by the governing council of the institution but the protesters frowned at the development on the grounds that the sacked workers were duly employed, issued appointment letters, did all documentation and had worked in the school for over six months.
They vowed to continue to paralyse all academic and non-academic activities on the campus until the management reverse the decision.
Speaking on the development, the chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, OAUSTECH chapter and Chairman Joint Action Committee of the institution, Mr Dayo Temola said the reason for the sack of the affected workers was not tenable and they would neither be tolerated nor accepted.
He said, “We woke to the shocking news that over twenty-two members of staff has been sacked as a result of the university governing council held yesterday,20th of June,2023. “It is trite to say that when this news had earlier filtered, it was debunked by university management/ council until yesterday (Tuesday).
“We, therefore, reiterate that the basis for justification of these mass sacks by the Council is not tenable and will neither be tolerated nor accepted. The unions of SSANU, NASU, and NAAT hereby reject this mass sack and demand that the mass sack be reversed with immediate effect.
“The Ondo State Government should as a matter of urgency set up a visitation panel in line with the university laws.”
In the same vein, his Academic Staff Union of Universities counterpart, in the institution, Dr. Rotimi Olorunsola, said the protest would not stop until the council reverses itself on the dismissal of the workers.
“We have given the council ultimatum that unless they reverse the decision they make by sacking our members, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony. Some of our members that were employed were our first-class graduates and we cannot afford to throw away our first-class graduates because we taught them.
“Most universities have the culture of retaining their first-class products. We also resolved that if the council is having an issue with the management, they should resolve it, they should not come and bounce back on our members. As a matter of fact, the appointment was approved by the former council. They were given a letter in March 2022 but they resumed in October because there was an ASUU strike.
“The affected staff have contributed to the progress of the university for the last year, so there is no point sending them out of the system, we need them. We are not giving them an ultimatum until they reverse the case, the doors of the university remain locked. Even the 100-level examination that is coming up next Monday will not hold. There will be no examination and lecture.”