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The leadership of the Non-Academic Staff Union of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has made fresh demands from the authorities of the university which it said must be met before its members can return to their duties.
Members of the union, during an emergency congress held in the institution on Wednesday, asked the varsity authorities to start the implementation of the 64-month hazard allowance owed them.
Among other demands, the union also asked for the payment of at least 20 months of the outstanding arrears owed its members.
The Chairman of NASU, OAU chapter, Mr. Wole Odewunmi, said the institution had paid other workers’ hazard allowance, which he described as responsibility allowance.
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Odewunmi said, “We want the university management to start the implementation of the hazard allowance this month. Besides, it should pay at least 20 months out of the outstanding arrears it owed our members.
“Failure to do this will leave us with no option than to ask our members to withdraw their services from the university. For now, we still render our services and converge on the sports complex of the university to hold meetings.”
Before the management asked students to vacate the university campus after its emergency senate meeting on Sunday, the aggrieved workers had shut the gates leading to the school, thus forcing students, members of staff and visitors to trek long distances. They also shut the senate building and the library.
Our correspondent learnt that the leadership of the union and representatives of the university on Tuesday met at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who urged the two parties to resolve the matter amicably.
The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Biodun Olarewaju, however, denied that the management paid other workers hazard allowance under the guise of responsibility allowance.
“The institution does not owe the workers. It is the Federal Government that owes them. The responsibility allowance is for any worker in the school given an office to manage on behalf of the institution. Since the person uses his own money to buy fuel for his car even without an official car, the management gives a token at the end of the month for the expenses the person incurs. Some members of the union have received such money too,” Olarewaju said.
He also said that he was not aware of any meeting between the union members and delegates of the varsity at the palace of the Ooni of Ife.
He stated, “I do not have any information that the Ooni of Ife met with the representatives of the institution and the leadership of the union. But as a father of all, it is good if the Ooni of Ife intervenes to end the matter.
“We have done what we should do as a university. We got some officers of the Nigeria Police Force to dismantle all the areas barricaded by the workers during their protests so as to allow the free flow of traffic on the campus.”