Teachers at Nigeria’s universities of teacher education have given the federal government a 21-day ultimatum to solve upcoming problems or risk industrial action.
From the point of view of the Academic Staff Union of the Colleges of Education (COEASU), they raised the issues at stake, including the refusal to deduct third parties in most Colleges of Education (COEs); “Double standards” introduced by the ministries of labor and education towards the COEs compared to other universities and introduction of the integrated wage and personnel information system (IPPIS).
In a statement on Wednesday evening, COEASU President Nuhu Ogirima said the government failed to address the college plight, “a year after sending a memo about the unfortunate condition of the institutions.”
The union also said that most state governments copied the federal government in the arms that govern COE affairs equally.
“As a result, impunity for administration and deprivation are paramount in most of these COEs. The Enlarged National Executive Council (ENEC) is therefore forced at its July 8 session to urge the government to shut down the teacher training industry because the quality of infrastructure, welfare and service delivery in the governance system has no preference at all. , he said.
According to him, “if the government refuses to resolve any dispute within 21 days, ENEC would like you to acknowledge that the union has no choice but to declare a nationwide industrial action if the government refuses to resolve any dispute.
“In August 2019, the association sent a memo passionately calling on the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) To intervene in the plight of the public COEs system,” he said.
He said the memo was based on “decades of total neglect of the COE system that the Federal Ministry of Education could not successfully tackle.”
“In response to our follow-up correspondence, both FME and FML & E indicated that they were waiting for the President’s response. Unfortunately we are all still waiting for the answer. Almost a year after the memo was received by the presidency, the system continues to degenerate, ”added COEASU.
Ogirima said the confidence that COEASU had in the government had been betrayed because none of the commitments he had made had been met.
“Even a meager fraction of N 15 billion (paid), only as a palliative of N 486 billion, which was required from 2017 to cushion the effects of not implementing the NEEDS assessment. and others have not been met to date.
“COEASU in the spirit of patriotism had suspended the 2018 strike after the FG made some pledges,” said the union.
The last time COEASU went on strike was October 9, 2018, and it was about failure to implement agreements, particularly the NEEDS evaluation report. The strike was suspended on December 5, 2018.
Mr. Ogirima said: “The introduction of IPPIS into the COE system has affected the payment of remuneration for employees with anomalies, violations and deprivation.”
“Third-party deductions are not affected in most colleges,” he said.
“Some of our members who were on Sabbath and study leave were not included on the payroll and the worst check-off fees that have not been paid to the union since February 2020 have been retained, allegedly to stifle the union of funds and they cripple activities. “
IPPIS is government software that is mandatory for all public institutions, primarily payroll, to ensure accountability.
Like the COEASU, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) also refused to implement IPPIS on the grounds that the special features of the universities were not taken into account.
This has led to disputes between unions and the government in recent months.
Although SSANU originally supported the IPPIS initiative, it later said that its confidence in the system was undermined by the irregularities it found in paying its February salaries.
With its strike action, the ASUU had stopped academic activities at the universities almost a month before all universities had given reasons for blocking COVID-19 due to similar problems.
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