By Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Staff of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASUED), Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in their welfare issue, which they said has led to the death of about 45 members since 2011.
The staff in a Save-our-Soul (SOS) letter to Buhari, signed by Dr. Dan Oludipe, Mr. Ebenezer Akinyosade, Mr. Adetowubo King, Dr. Dupe Oba-Adenuga and 10 others, complained about the refusal of the state government to pay their N4 billion Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) and Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) arrears between July 2009 and October 2018.
According to them, the outstanding salaries and arrears were owed by the immediate-past administration of Gbenga Daniel and the current Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
They appealed to the president to persuade Amosun’s government to use the last tranche of Paris Club fund to pay their outstanding salaries and arrears.
The staff also asked the state government to restore their salary scale to 100 per cent with effect from October 2018.
The staff, who said Amosun’s government in 2011 paid half salary for the first three months immediately he assumed office, regretted that his government has not paid the balance till date.
They claimed they have endured enough of the sufferings, but in their wisdom decided not to embark on unnecessary strike, while they have pinned their hope on the timely intervention of the president who they have confidence in, to salvage the precarious situation which the college has found itself.
The letter read: “We were further subjected to frustration and untold hardship by the government due to non-payment of salary for 14 consecutive months (April, May and June, 2015; September, October, November and December, 2015; January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August 2016).
“After much persuasion and appeals to the state government vis-à-vis the appointment of a new provost for the college, the state government resumed the payment of half salary with effect from August 2016 to July 2017 and October 2017 (payment of half salary for 13 calendar months).
“Between August 2017 and to the time of writing this report, the percentage of monthly salary paid to workers in the college has increased to 60 per cent (September 2017 to September 2018).
“Your Excellency Sir, in July 2012, a new salary structure which was approved in 2009 for colleges of education was implemented in the college with the outstanding arrears of same being 48 months.
“The state government is yet to look into the payment of these backlogs despite series of appeals. The non-payment of staff salaries and arrears for several months has taken its toll on staff of the college.
“Between May 2011 and October 2018, the college has lost 45 staff. Some of these staff died because of little medical expenses that could not be paid at the hospital.
“Several other staff had been subjected to the nursing of terminal ailments occasioned by the psychological effect of non-payment of salaries. It is more devastating to note that we have husbands and wives working together in the college and are being subjected to this high level of dehumanisation.
“Many families have been put in disarray over non-payment of salaries as they cannot meet up with their social and financial obligations.
“Many of our staff have been ejected by their landlords over their inability to pay house rent, while staff with children in secondary schools and universities have withdrawn their children due to dearth of fund.
“The cumulative effect of this development had subjected many staff to emotional distress as they have been so dehumanised beyond description.
“Staff of the college has remained stagnant on a ground level for many years. The last time promotion exercise was carried out was in 2011. For seven years running, there has been no promotion for staff and this has implication on staff morale.”