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COEASU THREATENS STRIKE, GIVES FG 21-DAY ULTIMATUM

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has given the federal government a 21-day ultimatum to address the union’s demands else it will go on strike, accusing it of dilly-dallying.

This is contained in a statement by the association’s President Smart Olugbeko and General-Secretary, Ahmed Bazza.

COEASU said after extensive deliberation by its NEC resolved on the ultimatum beginning from May 9, resolving that if the government failed to do the needful within the ultimatum, the union would declare a strike.

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“The National Executive Council (NEC) of our great union convened at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State on May 6 to compile the outcome of referendum conducted across all chapters nationwide. We re-assessed the seriousness of the government towards resolution of festering issues and decided the way forward.

“The NEC observed, with consternation, that the FG has been ridiculously unfair to the union by taking the understanding shown over time for granted and leaving issues unaddressed, in spite of the union’s entreaties,” COEASU noted.

COEASU further said the dilly-dallying posture of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to renegotiation of COEASU-federal government 2010 agreement remained unaddressed.

It said the long-anticipated renegotiation of COEASU-federal government 2010 agreement was promising for mutual resolution of challenges bedevilling colleges of education.

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“Ridiculously, the FG has refused to constitute her own renegotiation team after acknowledging receipt of our union’s team list on her own request for over two months now. Government has refused to accede to our demand for the fulfilment of her own pledge of N15 billion revitalisation fund.

“Apart from being a far cry from N478 billion, being the outcome of the 2014 Presidential Needs Assessment across public COEs, the delay in its release has made nonsense of the value due to inflation,” COEASU pointed out.

On poor funding of College of Educations (COEs) and poor conditions across state-owned COEs, it said the sector had continued to suffer untold hardships through non-payment of salary and salary arrears as well as refusal to implement the statutory salary structure in full.

“Many colleges find it difficult to run smoothly due to non-release of running costs by the government. Many state governments have abdicated their responsibility as proprietors to TETFund, as the only projects you see in the colleges are TETFund projects,” added COEASU. “The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) is causing more havoc to tertiary institutions than good. Uptill the end of March 1, 2019, lecturers in COEs are experiencing one problem or the other with IPPIS.

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“COEASU has demanded the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), an alternative innovation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).”

It noted that UTAS “has been found superior to IPPIS as it has the capacity to address our payroll security concerns and the peculiarities of tertiary institutions.”

(NAN)

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