Union threatens to shut down unity schools over unpaid salaries
As schools resume next week, organised labour under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has threatened to shut Kings College, Lagos and Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo State over unpaid salaries and other benefits of education officers outstanding since May 2016, in the schools.
Speaking recently in Lagos, the Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, said education officers in the schools would not resume classes on Thursday, September 15,2016 unless the salary owed them since May 2016 were paid by Wednesday, September 14,2016.
He said since May 2016, education officers in King’s College, Lagos and Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo State had been subjected to financial embarrassment in violation of Public Service Rules (PSR).
“It seems that the decision not to pay salaries to education officers in these schools since May is an experiment which will be extended to other schools in due course if there is no resistance from the workers and their trade unions as the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation have continued to shift blames on the matter.
He emphasized that the other 102 Federal Unity Colleges have been mobilized to join the strike if the Federal Government still refused to pay Education Officers in the two schools their salaries because “injury to one is injury to all”.
“We also wish to recall that during the last Federal Administrations, salaries and allowances including promotion arrears were not paid to some categories of officers and the Association is still battling to have those arrears of workers’ legitimate entitlements settled” he said.
Lawal lamented that the present administration which promised to change the content and form of governance for the better had started to owe workers their salaries after they had rendered service to the country.
He stressed that because salaries of civil servants were meager and could not take them to the bus stop let alone take them home when paid regularly, now that the salaries could not be paid at all, it had been a tale of hardship for Education Officers some of whom could no longer afford to buy medication to treat themselves after going to the hospitals and getting prescriptions.
“It is indeed sad that the Federal Government has decided to subject these workers and their families to untold hardship whereas the welfare of the citizens is the main reason why governments exist in the first instance,” the Union lamented.
The union, therefore, urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps and ensure that salaries of Education Officers in King’s College, Lagos, and Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo State, outstanding since May 2016 were paid without further delay so as to douse tension that had been building up not only in the two schools but also in the other 102 Federal Unity Colleges over the issue.
He than advised parents and guardians not to release their children and wards to resume classes at King’s Colleges and Federal Government Colleges, Idoani, Ondo State by 15th September 2016 in order not to subject them to avoidable hardship unless the salaries owed Education Officers in the schools were paid by Wednesday 14th September 2016.
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