By Gid Ahanonu
To avert a looming labour crisis in the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Francis Eze, has held a meeting where he explained the financial situation of the institution and pleaded with them to remain calm as the university authorities continues efforts to meet their demands.
The workers are being paid 80% percent of their salaries, a situation that has created much tension in the university in recent weeks.
Non-tutorial staff of the university had given notice to go on strike over the reduction in their monthly emoluments and had sent delegate’s to the pro-chancellor who urged them to stay action.
At the latest General Assembly, 26th in the series, Prof. Eze told the workers that the pains and difficulty they were facing would only last for a moment and was not peculiar to FUTO only.
He recalled that at the 24th General Assembly on March 3, this year, he had informed staff of the shortfall in the personnel cost allocation released to the university which began more than two years ago.
According to him, management of the institution had endeavoured to augment the shortfalls until February 2017 when it could no longer do so due to the persistent release of fractions of monthly personnel costs.
From June 2017, therefore, the takehome pay of staff reduced to 80% percent as management, according to the Vice Chancellor, got 77 percent for the month of June and July.
The Vice Chancellor swore that the administration had no intention whatsoever to inflict sufferings on staff members.
He described FUTO as “a big happy family” and thanked staff for helping to restore normal academic activities in the campus after the recent students’ violent demonstrations of February 17, 2017.
Staff members who spoke at the assembly stressed the need to beef up the university’s internally generated revenue by revitalizing the institutions’ pure water company and agricultural outfit.
During the interaction, the Vice Chancellor also encouraged the lecturers to attract fund through research works, among others.