Industrial unions in Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa on Thursday staged peaceful protest against alleged unlawful retirement of its members and non-remittance of pensions to their various pension fund administrators.
The protesting unions are: the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the unions locked the gate of the permanent site of the institution, vowing to continue the protest for seven days until their demands are met.
Temidayo Temola, Chairman, Joint Action Congress of the unions, said the institution’s management had served five of their members retirement letters against the lawful retirement ages of 65 to 70.
Temola also said the management refused to remit their pension contributions for 12 months to their various pension fund administrators.
He said: “The retirement age for staff is 65 to 70 years and not 60 to 65 years as being claimed by the management.
“On this basis, they served five of our members retirement letters without any provision for them.
“Even our pension contributions, being deducted from our salaries, are not remitted.
“Leave bonuses too are not being paid.
“This is total wickedness.
“We appeal to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to call the management to order and reverse the unlawful 60 to 65 years retirement and ensure that our pensions and leave bonuses are paid,
“We will resist any attempt to frustrate us and we will keep vigil for seven days until our demands are met.”
The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sunday Ogunduyile, while reacting to the protest on telephone, told NAN that the institution’s edict stated 60 to 65 years as the retirement age for management and academic staff respectively.
Ogunduyile added that the mode of remittance of the pensions had been deliberated upon between the staff and the institution’s management and that an agreement was reached.
He said: “The State House of Assembly has not passed any law on retirement ages.
“So we follow the institution’s edict, which stated 60 to 65 years retirement for management and academic staff respectively.
“Their pensions have been remitted till March and we all agreed that we will pay their salaries first and pay their pensions from our subvention and internally generated revenue.”
Meanwhile, the police, led by the Area Commander, ACP Musa Wasiri, and the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Adeniyi Agboola, were on ground to maintain peace and to guard against breakdown of law and order.
NAN also reports that the institution was on an indefinite shutdown, following students’ protest over an alleged hike in tuition fees.