Scores of academic staff in all the four tertiary institutions owned by Osun State yesterday besieged the Osun State House Assembly to protest alleged directive and counter directive on the new contributory pension scheme and the new high tax regime introduced in the state.
Led by the Chairman Council of Academic Staff Union of Osun State Owned Tertiary Institutions, Comrade Francis Ademiluyi, the workers stormed the premises of the State House of Assembly at about 9.00 am to make their grievances known to the parliament.
Armed with various placards with inscriptions such as “Tax in Osun State is a SledgeHarmer on Workers; Pension Scheme is a fraud in Osun State; Government Reneges on the Approved 65years for Academics Staff”, “Government Insensitive on the Plights of Academic Staff; Our Institutions lacks Modern Infrastructure and equipment”; among others.
The lecturers insisted that pension law should be left open to whosoever wishes to join, hence should not be made mandatory as the case is in Osun State.
They also lamented the directive and counter directive emanating from the office of State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori and State Head of Service, Mr. Olayinka Owoeye on elongation of the retirement age for academic staff in all its tertiary institutions from 60 years to 65 years, thereby resulting in tension within the rank and file of academic community in the State.
Teachers from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Osun State College of Education, Ilesa and Osun State college of Education, Ila-Orangun urged the parliamentarians to wade into the matter to avoid chaos in the institutions.
The protesting teachers who were received by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Akintunde Adegboye (Osogbo State Constituency) and members of House Committee on Education were enjoined to keep the peace and allow the assembly to intervene in the matter.
The Deputy Speaker who assured the protesters that they would seek audience with the State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola urged them to be patient, adding that he was optimistic that something positive would come out of their meeting with Governor over the matter.