Teachers of Lagos State Polytechnics, LASPOTECH, have debunked a claim by the state government that a court has ordered them to return to work.
The state government had asked the National Industrial Court to restrain the workers from embarking on an indefinite strike they called on August 1, after which the governor’s special adviser on education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, reportedly claimed in a statement that the court granted an ex-parte order for the suspension of the strike.
Reacting to Mr. Bank-Olemoh’s statement on Wednesday, however, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, of LASPOTECH, said his claim was not only false but was made “to create confusion and cover up his inadequacies in advising” the governor on matters relating to the school.
The union, in a statement signed by its general secretary, Olayinka Uthman, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES, said the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, instead on August 1 and 3 twice struck out applications for the ex-parte order in the suit filed by the special adviser on behalf of the state Government.
The union said the court in its ruling held that the claimants failed to satisfy it on the urgency of this application and “therefore decline to grant this motion ex-parte and dismiss same”.
The union further accused Mr. Bank-Olemoh of “peddling falsehood about the CONTISS 15 arrears that the Unions are clamouring for. With all sense of patriotism, we wish to state categorically, that the unions are pursuing legitimate issues supported by documents.”
It recalled that the immediate past rector of the school, Abdulazeez Lawal, had constituted a committee on the migration to CONTISS 15 and revised NBTE Scheme of service.
According to ASUP, the committee was headed the then Deputy Rector (Admin.), Oluyinka Sogunro, who is now current rector of the institution.
“The committee via a report dated 6th June, 2014, reference CIC 16 signed by Sogunro and other six members, submitted that for the sake of sustainable peace to ensure a conducive atmosphere for teaching and community service, the committee recommended the option of salary point to salary point of N19,718, 559,00.”
The teachers also said the rector had written the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget for approval to adopt and implement the NBTE Migration to CONTISS 15 Circular and new Scheme of Service with a monthly financial implication of N236,622,708.00.
They said Mr. Bank-Olemoh in May 2016 wrote to inform the school that the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had approved upward review of monthly subventions of the state’s tertiary institutions and signed-off the payment of N210,000,000,00 as the new monthly subvention for LASPOTECH with effect from June, 2016.
The teachers denied that they requested payment of 87 months arrears at a go.
“The Unions only requested for 12 months, while the remaining should be prorated for years in line with the NBTEs caveat. But Obafela Bank-Olemoh in connivance with the rector is misinforming Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for his personal gain.”
The union further accused Mr. Bank-Olemoh of inciting the students against the staff of LASPOTECH.