Teachers in Nigerian colleges threaten strike

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By Azeezat Adedigba

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has called on the Nigerian government to accede to its various demands to avoid disruption of academic activities in the colleges across the country.

The union said the demands are based on the understanding and agreement reached before the suspension of its industrial action in December 2018 after two months.

It said this in a communiqué it issued at the end of its Expanded National Executive Council (ENEC) meeting on September 10 and 11, in Lagos.

The communique which was jointly signed by the President, Nuhu Ogirima, and General Secretary, Taiwo Olayanju, decried the disposition of the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to the resolution of all the protracted issues.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon, Mr Ogirima also said the agreement is long due and the government need to act on it fast.

The union said it was expecting a meaningful rejigging of the system to ensure the resolution of all lingering issues in contention, following the re-appointment of the minister of education, Adamu Adamu.

The union urged the ministry and the NCCE to take the issues of the colleges seriously to avert the disruption of the COEs calendar by a strike .

‘Our issues’

(a) Presidential assent to the reviewed Establishment Laws of FCEs and NCCE as passed by the National Assembly;

(b) Executive approval of Dual Mode (NCE and Degree) for Colleges of Education; to check attrition of subscription to teacher education by both students and lecturers;

(c) Non-release of the fifteen billion naira (N15bn) palliative funds pledged by the FGN to revitalize the public COEs;

(d) Non-payment of about two billion five hundred million naira (N2.5bn) Peculiar Earned Academic Allowances (PEAA); and

(e) Review of the policy of out-sourced services and its implication on security in the institutions.

The union also expressed dissatisfaction over the attempt to impose the application of the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) on colleges of education, considering the peculiarities of tertiary institutions.

The academic body said it is not aversed to policies adopted by the government to check corruption and leakages in the schools towards more cost-effective payroll management system.

”COEASU condemned the refusal of FME to direct the enrolment of teachers of Demonstration Schools on the payroll of the institutions as done in the case of a sister tertiary institution with similar policy, ” the communique reads.

The union also described alleged persistent poor handling of staff welfare-related issues in most state colleges of education ”as utterly unacceptable”

”The pathetic situation is evident in the introduction of promotion criteria extraneous to the extant provisions of the conditions of service, ” the communique reads.

The union suspended its last strike in December.

The strike began on October 9 over non-implementation of the union’s agreements with government, especially NEEDS assessment report.

 

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