Osun Tertiary Institutions Exonerate Aregbesola Of Staff Retrenchment
The Managements of the Osun State-owned Tertiary Institutions have said that the state government has no hand in the sack of some of their teaching and non-teaching staff.
Responding to questions at a meeting called by the State House of Assembly in Osogbo on Tuesday, they said it was the discretion of the institutions to retrench the staff who have run foul of the requirements of their jobs.
This is just as the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam called for meticulous scrutiny, justification and thorough investigation of the files of the affected staffers so as for the House to confirm whether the sacked workers have indeed run foul of the said jobs’ requirements.
Hon. Salaam further directed the managements of the four affected institutions to suspend any action capable of making anyone loses his job until the investigation is concluded by the House.
Apparently, the Rector, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Dr. Sola Agboola; his counterpart from Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Dr. Augustus Oke; Provost, Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Dr. Kadiri Adegoke and his counterpart from Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Professor Isaac Oyewole argued that none of the staff of the institutions was unjustifiably sacked.
One after the other, they all identified redundancy, inappropriate qualifications, poor academic development, declining productivity, questionable certificates, disciplinary matters among other as parts of the criteria for the disengagement of the affected teaching and non-teaching staff of the institutions.
In his submission, Rector, Osun State College of Education, Dr. Augustus Oke who attributed the lingering crisis to what he described as nepotism, chauvinism and favourism explained that the problem in the system, dated back to 2005 when due process was totally ignored and disregarded in the staff engagement, saying at that period, political office holders used to give out note for lecturers to report to the institution without the appropriate certificates and qualifications.
He stressed that many of the affected workers were neither recruited nor engaged in line with the recruitment’s standards, rules and regulations, saying some of them gained the jobs through back door.
In his subsequent reactions, Rector, Osun State Polytechnic, Dr. Sola Agboola elucidated that the institutions were not involved in the recruitment of staff from 2005 to 2007, saying, it was done at the instance of the political class.
The duo however affirmed that consultants were engaged to carry out staff audit and at the end, the affected staff were found wanting.
Also reacting, Provost, Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Professor Isaac OyewoleProfessor Oyewole said the exercise was not meant to witch-hunt the staff, but was done in good faith to bring sanity into the education system in the state.
Professor Oyewole stressed that some of the affected staff had disciplinary issues including extortion of students and aiding exam malpractices among others, saying the offence committed by the affected officials were contained in their files.
Reacting, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Najeem Salaam wondered why the management had to wait till now if indeed the affected staff have been found wanting in one way or the other.
“If somebody has a questionable certificate, you must have known before now; and if a person is engaging in disciplinary activities, your must have had the hint. Why do you have to wait till now to generate noises”, he said.
Hon. Salaam held that the House under his leadership would not condone the disengagement of the staff of the institutions unjustifiably, therefore directed the institution to suspend the action for now.
Salaam who hinted that a letter for the commencement of strike action had been received from the Academic Staff Union of the institutions, urged the Union not to embark on any strike for now, as effort is being taken by the House to resolve the matter.