Tensions seem to be rising at ile-Akede of the Broadcasting Cooperation of Oyo State (BCOS) as contract and freelance staff find themselves at loggerhead with the relatively new management, led by Chief (Mrs) Dotun Olaitan, Primus Media gathered.
According to one of the affected staff members, who pleaded anonymity, despite economic challenges in the country, Chief Olaitan recently implemented salary cuts for many contract and freelance workers without prior notification, leading to discontent among the affected employees.
The discontentment is aggravated by the management’s perceived lack of consideration for the contract and freelance staff, as they were not included in the 25,000 Naira wage reward palliative disbursed by the government.
Employees argue that Chief Olaitan’s approach reflects an “I don’t care attitude,” with allegations that the management favors an unfair “man-knows-man” system in the distribution of financial benefits.
Our source disclosed that last week, the concerned staff requested a meeting with the management, but Chief Olaitan dishonored their invitation, sending the General Manager in her stead. The promises made by her representative during the meeting failed to appease the employees, prompting them to submit a direct letter to Chief Olaitan on Friday. As of now, there has been no visible action from the management in response to the concerns raised.
In response to these allegations, Chief (Mrs) Dotun Olaitan, the Chairman of BCOS, stated that decisions regarding contract and freelance staff are based on specific criteria: individuals must be exceptional in their roles, not in-house, or retired but still active.
She defended the salary cuts, emphasizing the financial strain on the corporation and revealing that the wage bill of the aggrieved workers had reached over 4 million Naira. Chief Olaitan also addressed the disparity in the government palliative, clarifying that the template provided by the government was for permanent staff and pensioners.
The Chairman urged employees to appeal to the state government if they wish for similar gestures, emphasizing her commitment to retaining valuable staff despite the challenges faced. Regarding the letter, she stated that the letter is still going through the required official process in a corporation like the BCOS. As at press time, the situation remains tense as both parties await further developments.
“BCOS as you know is a government parastatal, as such if freelance / contract staff would be taken , must be based on two parameters: Persons concerned are the best on the job but not in- house, or retired but still active so can be absorbed on a contract basis, it would interest you to know that these criteria were not met. More upsetting and financially unreasonable at this time is the haphazard apportionment of these fees done on man know man basis among other considerations. Over time, the bill came to over 4Millon naira.
“I am a seasoned broadcast Journalist, if any officer adds value, I wouldn’t touch. When I assumed office, I had a choice of laying some off to retain the needed experts but I took a more humane route to carry all along with minor remuneration adjustments but events have shown other reasonings.
“As for the palliative cash awards, the state government , the overall employer, sent a template to pay PERMANENT STAFFA AND PENSIONERS, with an up to the last kobo calculation. Maybe instead of writing to me, they should have written H.E to appeal that same gesture be extended to them.” She added.