By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Defying heavy rains, yesterday, in Calabar, Cross River State, members of two labour unions in the College of Health Technology, Calabar, COHTECH, stormed the state governor’s office, demanding the implementation of a seven years old salary scale which was approved in 2011.
The two unions, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, SSANIP, said COHTECH was the only tertiary institution in the state yet to benefit from the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Salary Structure, CONPCASS and the Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure, CONTEDISS, which were agreed upon alongside the new minimum wage of N18, 000 in 2011.
The unions also shut down the school located at Mary Slessor in Calabar, thereby crippling learning activities at the health institution as they commenced a three-day warning strike.
Speaking with newsmen at the Governor’s Office, SSANIP COHTECH chairman, Mr Emmanuel Enyiegor, said they were the only ones among institutions in their category yet to benefit from the new salary structure which was implemented in 2011.
His words: “We are protesting because of the non-implementation of the CONPCASS and CONTEDISS salary structure in the state for us which had been implemented for CRUTECH, College of Education Akamkpa and ITM Ugep. Only College of Health Technology, Calabar, is left behind.
“This salary scale was approved by the National Salaries and Wages Commission, Abuja, since 2011 and since then it has been implemented across tertiary institutions in the country including the Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Colleges of Health Technology,” he stated.
He hinted that they were invited for a meeting with the Deputy Governor which never held, adding that they had exhausted all avenues to reach the government which had kept claiming that there was paucity of funds for seven years.