Workers at College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, on Tuesday protested against unpaid eight months’ salary arrears owed them.
The protest was led by members of the Non-Academic Staff Union but was joined by members of the College of Education Academic Staff Union.
The workers accused the Provost, Prof. Mojisola Oyarekua, of allegedly “sitting” on their three months salaries, which they claimed had been released by the state government to offset part of the arrears.
While the protesters allowed students into the campus, no worker was allowed access.
The action disrupted the second semester examination that was supposed to start on Monday.
But the protest assumed another dimension on Tuesday when the workers shut the gates to the school. Many of them carried placards and leaves.
Speaking with reporters during the protest, NASU Secretary, Mr. Wale Animasaun, said the action followed the expiration of the ultimatum given to the management.
Animasaun clarified that the protest was not against the government of Ayodele Fayose but against the college management led by Oyarekua.
He said, “The governor has released three months out of the salary arrears owed us but the college management has refused to pay us. They used to give us net pay but they have even refused to pay anything.
“This is despite the fact that they are generating revenue from other sources like the N2,500 each candidate pays as post-UTME fee, reparation fee students paid by all students during the last riot and other miscellaneous fees.
“We workers of College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti are suffering and we will not allow anybody no matter how highly placed to deny us of our legitimate rights.
“This protest will continue until our demands are met, the exam that is supposed to start on Monday will be on hold and we want to plead with the students to show understanding with us.”
But the Provost, Mrs. Oyarekua, while denying refusing to pay their three months salaries added that the college authorities had not received any subvention from the state government.
She said, “The allegation of holding on to three month salaries is not true. In fact, I am embarrassed by the allegation because we have not got any subvention from the government.
“A particular union is behind the latest crisis in the college; people are free to go and verify from the office of the Accountant General on the situation of things. We have not got any subvention from the government.”