By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—THE non-teaching staff of the Federal University of Technology, FUTA in Akure, Ondo State are on collision course with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Afuwape over the alleged lopsidedness in the composition of the institution congregation.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the congregation was halted abruptly during the week when the union leaders mobilise to disrupt it.
While the congregation was ongoing on campus, the non-teaching workers converged on the sports complex to storm the venue of the meeting but acting on security report of impending crisis, the Vice Chancellor immediately call off the meeting.
The non-teaching staff, comprising members of the three unions, the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU; Senior Staff Association of Nigeria University, SSANU; and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, accused the management of the institution of deliberately shutting them out by reducing their number in the congregation.
The university statute, according to the unions, provides that “all administrative staff of the university, who are degree holders, are qualified to be members of the Congregation.
“But the school management misinterpreted the statute to be administrative officers being members instead of administrative staff.”
Reacting, the University’s Public Relations Officer, Adegbenro Adebanjo said: “When issues emanate within a system, such system has a way like extant rules and extant committee to take care and ensure that things continue to run smoothly.”
Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of NASU, Bayo Aladerotohun lamented that “the development had negatively affected non-teaching workers as they were not well represented at the governing council of the school to address challenges facing them.”
Also, the SSANU Chairman, Dele Durojaye said: “The University had not implemented a Court judgment which directed the management to follow the school statute as regards membership of the congregation.
Durojaye, who noted that the emergence of the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afuwape, had not corrected the lopsidedness accusing him of failing “to implement the Court judgement.”
Durojaye said: “The way FUTA interprets rules and regulations, it is into the negative.
“Like what we have now in the Federal University of Technology in Akure here is that membership of congregation is only limited to administrative officers of the university.
“Whereas the statute of the university says administrative staff and under administrative staff, we have professionals like accountants, we have people at the health centres, we have engineers and we have a technical staff.”
Reacting, the University’s Public Relations Officer, Adegbenro Adebanjo said: “When issues emanate within a system, such system has a way like extant rules and extant committee to take care and ensure that things continue to run smoothly.
“The school system has an internal mechanism for dispute resolution and such mechanism is what the school relies on to ensure that peace reigns in FUTA.”