The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has today, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, begun a one-month strike.
According to reports, the decision was made by the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) at a meeting in Asaba, Delta state, on Friday, June 10, 2022, following the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued to government on the lingering issues of the industrial concerns.
The strike action was disclosed to newsmen in a communique signed by COEASU President, Dr. Smart Olugbeko and General Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Bazza Lawan, respectively.
Recall, on May 26, 2022, the COEASU in a statement gave the Federal Government of Nigeria a 21-day ultimatum to meet their demands or be ready for an indefinite strike.
According to the union, the failure of the Federal Government to reconstitute its renegotiation team for the COEASU-FGN 2010 agreement; non-release of the N15bn revitalisation fund by the government and insistence on Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) against University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) are some of the issues that remain unresolved.
The statement read in part, “The total strike action suspended by the Union in December 2018 will be resumed immediately for four weeks in the first instance. NEC shall reconvene after the four weeks of strike action to re-assess the level of the Government’s commitment on the issues for an 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 to the festering issues and the status of inaction leading to the industrial action.
“Leadership of the Union at all levels (National, Zonal and Chapter) should embark on an emphatic media campaign towards seamless public awareness on the issues leading to the strike action.
“The strike action shall be total and all members of the academic staff in all Colleges of Education (both Federal and State) must withdraw from all statutory duties without exemption.
“All State-owned Colleges already on industrial action to press home local demands should impress on their respective Managements that the local strike shall continue in the unexpected event that their local issues remain unresolved by the end of the nationwide strike.
“Vice Presidents/Zonal Coordinators shall monitor the compliance of Chapters in their respective Zones while defaulting Chapters shall be prevented from enjoying the gains of the struggle and earn themselves other sanctions as NEC shall deem applicable based on normal Union regulations pertaining to Collective Bargaining,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are still on an indefinite strike, which began on February 14, 2022.
The unions have embarked on strike action to protest the Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands bordering on funding the educational sector, salaries and allowances, the elimination of the use of IPPIS and several other demands.
ASUU and the Federal Government are yet to reach an agreement regarding the lingering industrial action despite series of meetings and public outcry.