COVID-19: Ilorin Aviation College Sends Staff on Unpaid Leave, Slashes April Salaries

The International Aviation College, Ilorin (IACI), Kwara State, has sent its workers on Leave without pay and slashed their salaries for April 2020.

The members of the Non-academic Staff Union (NASU) College are grumbling over the development, describing it as “unfair and harsh” in the face of the prevailing economic hardship.

The school management directed every staff, minus a few, to immediately proceed on unpaid leave, beginning from Friday, May 1, 2020.

Rector of the College, Engr. Benedict Adeyileka, in a statement, explained that the action was necessitated as a result of the global health and economic crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Adeyileka, with the current observed trend of events, it is prudent to lean on the assumption that the situation is likely to persist for a while longer.

Part of the statement issued by the IACI Chief Executive Officer, initially reads:
“After careful deliberation and analysis, IACI management and Governing Council has decidedly to implement between 10-42% pay cut for all members of staff across the entire organization for the month of April 2020 with the exception of staff on or below N80,000.00 per month.

“Of huge significance to us is that we have suffered a sharp decline of 100% in our revenue streams since the closure of our college. It is evident that we must, without further delay, take decisive action to preserve our institution.

“Pursuant to this, recently we reached out to the state government, specifically to negotiate bail out funds; to pay for staff salary and other mandatory operational expenses. We are awaiting a response from the Government.

“Notwithstanding, some of the measures taken so far have contributed to conserving our limited resources. The outlook for the near future is not encouraging and our current level of funds simply cannot support our operations for much longer.”

It further added that: “For this reason, to safeguard the survival of our organization, we are constrained to introduce additional measures; to curtail our costs, as dictated by the turn of events to run our online lectures.

“Furthermore, commencing from 1st May 2020, all staff shall proceed on unpaid leave with the exception of the few required to keep the online lectures going. This position will be reviewed on a monthly basis and communications on further developments will be communicated as the situation evolves.

But reacting, Mr. Abdullahi Abdulrahman, the NASU Chairman in a chat with PRNigeria, expressed ‘anger’ with the College management for not consulting them before taking the decision to slash their salaries.

“We just learnt about the sudden development from a social media post of the Rector,” Abdulrahman said, before adding that, “Though we were not carried along before this decision was taken, the Union leadership is already making effort to reach out to the management for a dialogue.”

On what will be their next line of action per adventure the management refuses to bulge, the NASU Chairman, said: “Unions of nowadays don’t fight with higher authorities anymore. So, we will continue to engage and dialogue with the College management till they accede to our requests.”

While assuring their Union members to remain calm, Abdulrahman, maintained that he and his colleague-officials are on top of the situation, and will soon sort things out.

A member of NASU, Mr. Salako Adetunji, while speaking to PRNigeria in a phone chat, expressed dismay over the decision to review their salaries by the institution’s management, without first consulting them.

By PRNigeria