The union’s NEC reached the decision at a meeting held at the Federal College of Education, Kano, Kano State
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has approved an extension of the union’s ongoing industrial action by three weeks.
The union’s NEC reached the decision at a meeting held at the Federal College of Education, Kano, Kano State, on Tuesday.
This is coming amid nationwide protest planned to be held on July 26 and 27 by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the five months’ ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
According to a report by Daily Post, COEASU’s National President, Smart Olugbeko, said that the union’s action was based on a number of major issues surrounding their demands which the government had not met.
COEASU resumed its suspended strike on June 10 over the government’s failure to resolve some their demands including non-release of N15 billion approved out of the N456,599,691, and N18billion Revitalisation Fund for both Federal and State Colleges of Education contrary to repeated promises of the FG.
Others are; non-implementation of 2014 Needs assessment report, nonpayment of outstanding promotion arrears from 2016 to date, nonpayment of responsibility allowance to Librarian in Colleges of Education.
Olugbeko said that the union decided to extend the strike because of some unresolved issues including modalities for the disbursement of the revitalization fund which is yet to be agreed upon as the committee of stakeholders, including the Unions, which is to take the responsibility is expected to be convened by the Federal Government within the next few weeks.
The union’s national president further noted that the government’s sincerity towards meaningful collective bargaining could not be ascertained until August 2 when the renegotiation would start properly.
Olugbeko said that, “While empathetically acknowledging the appeal of critical stakeholders expecting the strike action to be suspended, NEC painstakingly submitted that the timing must be properly calculated based on the foregoing reservations in order to consolidate on the gains of the struggle.
“Therefore, NEC unanimously resolved that the strike action should continue for the next three weeks within which the Union hopes that the foregoing reservations should have been addressed.
“NEC noted with satisfaction that steady progress is being made towards the amendment of the COE Establishment Act which would subdue most of the challenges bedeviling the system.
“While condemning the inaction of the Government until the festering issues snowballed into the on-going industrial action, NEC commended the impressive level of compliance of Chapters to the struggle and noted with satisfaction that the national strike action has achieved the following improvements.
“The Federal Government has inaugurated the renegotiation team for the FGN-COEASU 2010 Agreement.
“The release of N15 billion revitalization fund for both Federal and State Colleges of Education has been revalidated and approved by the Federal Government.
“NEC however strongly condemned the oppressive actions of the following: Provost of Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit, for truncating the national warning strike action in the College, ordering the arrest and suspension of some Chapter Executive Council members; and Governments of Oyo, Benue, Plateau and Ebonyi States for the unwarranted enforcement of “no work, no pay” without prior meaningful engagement in collective bargaining despite the Union’s long predisposition to alternative dispute resolution.
“NEC charged the National Secretariat to sustain ongoing efforts to address the plights of the affected members.
“NEC also welcomed the on-going mobilization by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for a “national protest to get our children back to school” in solidarity with the struggle of Trade Unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions. While applauding the Labour Centre for this promising intervention, NEC posited that the strike action should be sustained and charged Chapters to participate in the mass protest.”