Unless the Federal Government acts to save the situation, the country’s tertiary education sector may witness a total collapse as the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has expressed its readiness to join the league of striking workers in the tertiary education sector.
COEASU lamented the lackadaisical attitude of both federal and state governments who are proprietors of the various Colleges of Education across the country towards addressing the plights of its members.
The union therefore warned that if tangible efforts are not put in place to address the lingering labour issues at the expiration of its 21 days ultimatum on the 28th of May 2022, the members will have no alternative than to embark on industrial action across the country
The Vice President and North-East Zonal Co-ordinator of the Union, Mohammed Bello Umar who made this known in a press statement in Bauchi on Tuesday stated that the members were seriously concerned about the lingering issues of industrial Concerns in the country’s colleges of education which needs quick attention.
According to him, “This, as always, is for the purpose of drawing the attention of the Public and governments to the plight of COEASU in Nigeria for possible redress”, parts of the press statement reads.
The Union noted with dismay that despite the breathing space accorded to the government to address the issues militating the social, economic and political life of Nigerians, nothing is being done to address the issues.
“The issues bedeviling the social, economic, and political life of Nigerians among others, and in particular the issues queued up in the education industry, the attitude of the government in handling problems concerning the Nigerian Colleges of Education is, to say the least, worrisome”, COEASU said.
The Union also noted that the sub sector is faced with a number of problems with serious and varying effects on the staff, the students, and by extension, the larger community.
The union while expressing fears that if nothing is done to address the issues, it will affect the next generation negatively, highlighted the key issues of contention to include, dilly-dallying posture of governments to renegotiation of COEASU-FGN 2010 Agreement.
According to the press statement, the 2010 agreement, it should be renegotiated after five years to update the provisions of the Agreement and
streamline some identified gray areas and address emerging issues of contention in the tertiary institutions.
The agreement, COEASU said was aimed at moving in line with the global best practices and engender lasting industrial harmony.
The statement further explained that, “since 2015, when the 2010 Agreement was due for renegotiation, government has failed to give room for the commencement of renegotiation that will fill up a lot of vacuums”.
The union accused the government that instead of being serious, it has continued to give lame excuses and remained merely pretentious on the commencement of exercise.
Other issues according to COEASU are non implementation of the white paper on 2014 Presidential Needs Assessment across public COEs in Nigeria, poor funding of Colleges of Education and Poor implementation of NCCE approved Conditions/scheme of
service across State-owned COEs.
The rest include FG’s recalcitrant attitude in the insistence on IPPIS against more reliable alternative of UTAS.
The Union said that Integrated
Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) is causing more havoc to tertiary institutions than good, adding that the IPPIS is beset with numerous problems such as omission of staff in the payment of salaries, unsolicited deductions, shortage in salary payment, unremitted third-party deductions, among others.
They also decried that government had refused to heed the Union’s demand for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which is an alternative innovation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), specially designed to carter for the tertiary education sector.
By Yemi Kanji
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