Colleges of Education Lecturers under COEASU began a total strike today after previously embarking a warning strike that lasted seven days. Two weeks after the Academic Staff Union of Universities suspended its strike, lecturers in the Colleges of Education are set to begin a nationwide strike on Tuesday.
This was stated in a letter served on the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike and a copy obtained by our correspondent in Abuja.
The letter was delivered by the General Secretary of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Mr. Nuhu Ogirima, who lamented that the Federal Government had failed to address issues raised by the union.
The union’s complaints are infrastructural decay, poor funding, non-implementation of the 2010 FG-COEASU Agreement, poor conditions of service, brain drain and illegal imposition of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.
In the letter signed by the COEASU National President, Asagha Nkoro and Ogirima, the union accused the government of directing the National Commission for Colleges of Education to impose the IPPIS on colleges without recourse to earlier meetings by parties.
It said, “While government held series of talks with the union leadership between September and December 2013, evidence abound that government does not wish to keep her side of the bargain in meeting the understanding reached at such meetings.
“This, without equivocation, is unacceptable to our union given the peculiar high nuisance and volatile nature of the colleges of education sector.
“More so, but for the constitution and inauguration of the Needs Assessment Committee, government merely paid lip services to all other issues, highlighted in our earlier correspondences”.
COEASU complained about discrimination against lecturers in colleges of education which includes refusal to fund the Peculiar and Responsibility Allowances as obtainable in Earned Allowances of the universities; refusal to implement the migration of lower cadres as obtainable in polytechnics; and non-accreditation of programmes of the colleges of education among others.
In compliance with the resolution of its Expanded National Executive Council Meeting, COEASU said its members had been directed to resume a full scale strike action suspended earlier this year, “unless and until government meets the demands”.
In an interview with our correspondent, Ogirima said the union embarked on the strike due to the attitude of the government.
He said, “You would recall that we observed a week warning strike earlier this year and the Federal Government called us for talks. Sadly, but for the NEEDS Assessment Committee which government inaugurated, all other issues remain unattended in spite of the over six (6) months of dialogue.
“We, therefore, have no alternative but to embark on the strike action since this appears to be the only language gov’t understands.”
When contacted, Wike’s Special Assistant (Media), Simeon Nwakaudu promised to address the issues raised by the lecturers today.
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