Dayo Johnson, Akure
The four weeks warning strike embarked upon by the National leadership of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has paralyse academic activities in Adeyemi College of Education, ACE, Ondo, in Ondo state.
Leadership of COEASU at Adeyemi College of Education have again threatened to extend the four week warning strike if government failed to attend to their demands.
The warning, the leaders said became necessary after the expiration of the 21- days ultimatum given to the Federal Government.
Chairman and Secretary of the union, Adetokunboh Adepoju and Joel Edafe respectively, in a statement, said that the Federal Government has failed to address lingering and emerging issues of an industrial concern affecting members of the union
They noted that the refusal of the government to address the issues raised by the Colleges of Education lecturers had shown governments insensitivity to issues bordering on the advancement of the nation’s teacher education industry.
“Over the years, the Colleges of Education system, the incontrovertible hub of Teacher Education and by extension the bedrock of the nation’s education system, has suffered wanton abandonment by the Federal Government.
“This neglect has gradually culminated in aggravated decay of infrastructures in the Colleges of Education System. Furthermore, based on poor conditions of service, the sector has also witnessed monumental academic staff attrition without significant effort by Government for their replacement.
“The resultant gross deficit of college academic staff and the backlash effect on the quality and quantity of teachers produced by the Colleges of Education system is best imagined.”
According to them, “pleas to government, for urgent revamp of facilities and recruitment of adequate quality and quantity of staff, among other needs to enhance the standard of facilities and working conditions of academic staff in the Colleges of Education sector has yielded no fruit.
“This has left our Union, having exhausted all other avenues of gaining the Government’s attention, with no other option than to embark on this total warning strike in the face of the Government crass insensitivity.
“Therefore, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), at its meeting, attended by 51 Chapters comprising 111 delegates including former Presidents and members of the National Officers’ Council (NOC), held on Friday 10th June, 2022 at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba, Delta State, after a thorough evaluation of the dismal level of responsiveness of the Federal Government and upon the lapse of a 21-day ultimatum issued by the Union on aforementioned lingering issues of an industrial concern, resolved unanimously that the total strike action suspended by the Union in December 2018 be resumed immediately, for four weeks in the first instance.”
The union listed some of the lingering issues that called for the industrial action to include, failure of the Federal Government to constitute its own Team and commence renegotiation of the FGN-COEASU 2010 Agreement in spite of all entreaties of the Union which should have addressed among others, the obnoxious tax regime on staff consolidated salary which includes allowances as against basic salary, and capturing in the annual budget the Peculiar Earned Allowance;
“Non-release of N15billion approved, out of the N456,599,691,914.18 revitalization fund recommended, for both Federal and State Colleges of Education contrary to repeated promises by the Federal Government;non – implementation of the consequential effect of the implementation of CONTISS15 on Lower Cadre (a.k.a. Migration) since 2018;
“Poor funding of Colleges of Education and poor conditions across state-owned Colleges of Education especially in Ogun, Kwara, Abia, Kogi, Zamfara, Yobe, and the Edo States; and federal Government’s recalcitrant insistence on the satanic IPPIS that does not take into account the peculiarity of the College of Education system as against the more reliable alternative of UTAS.”
They also listed other local issues already communicated to the College Management to include, four-month salary arrears for 2019 recruited academic staff; and Responsibility Allowances for HODs, and Dean’s/Directors, among others.
The union however said that “in the light of the foregoing, our Chapter, will not resume academic activities until all national and local issues are resolved”