College of Education enjoins lecturers to shun strike

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

Authorities of the Federal College of Education, Technical, Gombe says it will apply the no work, no pay policy in response to the indefinite strike embarked upon by lecturers at the institution.

A statement on behalf of the registrar by the Director, Establishment and Council Affairs of the college, Ibrahim Shehu, described the strike by the College of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, as ‘uncalled for.’

The statement said the management of the institution had no option but to use the policy of no work, no pay, in line with the Nigerian Government directives.

It accused the lecturers of insensitivity to its constraints, especially with the prevailing financial situation in Nigeria.

The statement said the authorities of the Federal College of Education, on April 19, 2017, received the demands of the union, which included the salary shortfalls from February to date, outstanding payment of Peculiar Academic Allowance arrears and its inclusion in their monthly salaries, among others.

“The college management informed COEASU that the college finances cannot accommodate their demands at the moment. However, one month PPA and 25 percent of the Conference Attendance Allowance (CAA) were paid to the academic staff. It was agreed that when the federal government releases the funds for 2015 promotion arrears and salary shortfalls, these would be paid without delay,” the statement said.

The crisis leading to the indefinite strike began shortly after the present Executive of Union was inaugurated in April this year.

The college management informed the union that the college finances could not accommodate their demands at the moment, but that a one month Peculiarity Academic Allowance and 25 percent of the Conference Attendance Allowance were paid to the academic staff.

Both parties had agreed that when the Nigerian government released the funds for 2015 promotion arrears and salary shortfalls, the two allowances would be paid without delay.

The statement said ’’ however, that barely one month after, the Federal College of Education Academic Staff Union wrote the management requesting for the payment of the balance of 50 percent of the Conference Attendance Allowance, the Peculiarity Academic Allowance, as well as the shortfalls in salaries and 2015 promotion arrears’’.

According to it, the college management set up a committee to negotiate with the union, but could not reach conclusive agreements, because the lecturers insisted that they must be paid the balance of the Peculiarity Academic Allowance and at least, one month of the Conference Attendance Allowance, despite the financial constraint faced by the college.

The statement further explained that the college governing council, in its inaugural meeting held on June 20, 2017, met the union and made an offer to pay 25 percent of the Conference Attendance Allowance for 2016/2017 session.

“COEASU decided to embark on three days warning strike beginning from Wednesday, July 5, to Friday, July 7. On the expiration of the 3 days warning strike, COEASU declared an indefinite strike with effect from Tuesday, July 11, 2017,” it said.

The statement said their meetings with the union had never discussed suggestion by the lecturers demanding for the sack of the provost and bursar.

It also denied that the college was being investigated by any panel, stressing that claims by academic staff union that the bursar of the institution was indicted by a panel was not true.

Mercy Chukudiebere