COEASU Declares One Month Strike Over N15bn Revitalisation Fund

COEASU Declares One Month Strike Over N15bn Revitalisation Fund

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu  

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, has declared a one-month strike over the failure of the Federal Government to implement agreements reached with the Union including the non-release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund for the colleges.

The strike notice was contained in a communique issued on Tuesday at the end of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of COASU held at Federal College of Education, Technical, Asaba, Delta State on Friday, June 10, 2022.

In the communique which was co-signed by COASU President, Dr Smart Olugbeko, and Secretary-General Ahmed Lawan Bazza, the union expressed anger over the Federal Government’s insistence on using the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System, IPPIS, as the payment platform instead of the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, which it claimed is more reliable and captured the peculiarity of tertiary institutions.

The union stated that it resolved to resume the strike that was called off on December 5th 2018 after the Asaba meeting which was held to assess the level of responsible action by the Federal Government and decide the way forward upon the lapse of 21-day ultimatum issued by the Union on the lingering issues of the industrial concern. 

It lamented that the NEC received with utter disappointment the continued inaction of the Government on lingering issues in spite of the Union’s lengthy perseverance and uncommon disposition towards alternative dispute resolution.

It added as worrisome the failure of the Federal Government to reciprocate the patience of COEASU which was underpinned by concern for the plight of the students and the system since December 5, 2018, when the last strike action was suspended.

“Specifically, NEC condemned non-resolution of the following lingering issues: Failure of FG to constitute its own Team and commence renegotiation of FGN-COEASU 2010 Agreement in spite of all entreaties of the Union,” it said.

According to the communiqué, the demands of the Union include the, “Non-release of N15billion approved out of the N456,599,691,914.18billion revitalisation fund recommended for both Federal and State Colleges of Education contrary to repeated promises of the FG. 

“Non-implementation of 2014 Needs assessment report in Colleges of Education. 

“Non-payment of outstanding promotion arrears from 2016 to date and Non – payment of responsibility allowance to Librarian in Colleges of Education.

“Non – implementation of the consequential effect of the implementation of CONTISS15 on Lower Cadre, Migration, since 2018. 

“Poor Funding of Colleges of Education and poor conditions across State-owned Colleges of Education especially in Ogun, Kwara, Abia, Kogi, Kaduna, Zamfara, Yobe, Oyo, Benue, Edo and Ebonyi States.

“Refusal of FG to mainstream demonstration school staff in the payroll of the Colleges”The Union stated that the NEC shall reconvene after the four weeks strike action to re-assess the level of Government’s commitment on the issues for appropriate decision on the way forward thenceforth. 

“Every Chapter Congress across the federation should convene on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, to adequately inform the Congress on the commencement of the strike action due the festering issues and the status of inaction leading to the industrial action,” it said. 

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