Tension mounts in Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo over suspension of union activities

Tension is mounting the Ondo State-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo (RUGIPO) following the suspension of the activities of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and that of the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) by the management.

To this end, a massive protest by workers of the institution will hold today (Wednesday)  to kick against  the obnoxious and authoritarian action of the school’s management.

Currently, the management is owing the two unions, 13 months salaries

Crisis began when the management  released a circular banning unions’ activities.

This is coming on the heels of the Unionsʼ resolve to commence their earlier suspended industrial action

Recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) had earlier been suspended few years ago at the school while SSANIP and NASU  had suspended strike action in November, 2021 following a meeting between the management, unions and the government.

SSANIP had in a letter dated 4th of January, 2022, communicated its communique to the Polytechnic authorities, saying “the congress-in-session resolves to resume the indefinite strike action suspended on Monday 8th November, 2021”

Though SSANIP said it was unanimously agreed at its congress to the deduction of two percent as monthly due from membersʼ salary to the coffer of the union, but its members are languishing in acute pain over 13 months and 35% of salary arrears owed.

The letter which was signed by association’s Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Olowolade Chris and Comrade Ojo Akinyemi, respectively, urged the State Government and the Rugipo management to consider the grouses of the union and do the needful.

But the management, in a circular dated same  4th of January, 2022, with Ref no AD/130/VOL/XIII/437, suspended the union for “calling out its members to withdraw their services to the institution until further notice”

In the circular signed by the Institution’s Registrar, Atiku Sule, the management said a meeting was held with the leadership of SSANIP and NASU on Monday, 3rd of January, 2022 over  issues bordering on workersʼ welfare particularly arrears of salaries being owed and subvention arrears recently approved and released by the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to the Institution.