The Coalition of Unions of State-owned Tertiary Institutions of Edo State yesterday appealed to the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to wade into the non-payment of their 16 months’ salary arrears owed its members from July 2009 to October 2010 accumulated from the difference between the old and new salary structures to avert industrial actions in the institutions.
A communiqué issued at the end of a joint meeting of the unions and signed by the chairman of the coalition, Comrade Fred Omonuwa, and representatives of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Institute of Technology, Usen, and College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, also sought the resolution of the 35% and 65% wage bill/salary sharing formula allegedly imposed on the management of the institutions.
The leadership of the unions, while commending the efforts of the state governor in transforming the educational sector in the state, recalled bitterly the failure of past committees set up to mediate between the state government and the unions in resolving the matter.
They stated, “Having written series of letters to government on the need to pay these arrears, the coalition members embarked on a work to rule action on 9th of April, 2012 which was suspended after they met with the committee set up by the state government to look into the matter.
“The committee was headed by the attorney general and commissioner for justice and also had the commissioners of education, agriculture and labour as members. The coalition decided to suspend the work to rule it embarked upon in April, 2013 not only in recognition of the excellent work the governor is doing in the state but also as a way of showing solidarity with the Comrade in his re-election bid and to stop all political insinuation about the coalition’s action by ill-advised opponents of the governor.”
“The coalition remembers vividly that at that meeting set up by government, coalition members promised not only to vote for the governor but also to defend their votes. However, arising from the failed promises, the coalition went on strike on 7th June, 2012, as members felt deceived and disregarded. Again, when it was noticed that unscrupulous politicians were beginning to read meanings into the action and having met with the head of service and other members of the previous committee set up by the state government, we decided to suspend the strike action on the 19th of June, 2012 until after the July 14th governorship election because of the recognition of the good work the Comrade governor is doing”.