University workers interrupt convocation to demand N35,000 wage award

Yesterday, workers from Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa, Ondo State, interrupted convocation to call for the payment of the N35,000 wage award that has been due to civil officials since last November.

Since last week, protesters operating under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Tertiary Institutions have been striking nonstop over the problem.

They carried signs that read, among other things, “We patronise the same market, pay us N35,000 wage award,” “All we are saying, pay us wage award,” “We deserve N35,000 wage award, pay us,” and “Wage award is our right, don’t deny us.”

Dayo Temola, the chairman of JAC, claimed that the state administration disregarded their requests for the payment of several allowances, including the wage award.

He said: “Our joint demand is that they should pay us our N35, 000 wage award that had been paid to all categories of workers in the state. We are also demanding implementation of 2019 minimum wage. We are in 2024, yet we have not received 2019 minimum wage. It is shameful, we patronise the same market with other workers who have been receiving the minimum wage. Everybody knows what is currently going on in the country, even our current salaries can’t take us to the office again for a month.

“We also demand that the monthly subvention of the school be increased by 100 per cent. The government promised us N91million on paper and has been giving us N63milliion. It is far low to the wage bills of the university. As we speak, the university owes billions of naira from cooperatives and some other allowances. This is our agitation.”

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was at the institution for the convocation, appealed to the workers and scheduled a meeting with the union leaders for today.