The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has resolved to extend the union’s ongoing industrial action by 21 days.
Smart Olugbeko, the national president of COEASU announced the extension after the NEC meeting held on July 19 at the Federal College of Education in Kano.
According to Olugbeko the decision to extend the strike for another three weeks was borne out of the fact that the modalities for the disbursement of the revitalisation fund are yet to be agreed upon because the committee of stakeholders, including the unions, which is to be saddled with that responsibility, is expected to be convened by the federal government within the next few weeks.
Besides, he said the government’s sincerity towards meaningful collective bargaining could not be ascertained until August 2, 2022 when the renegotiation proper would begin.
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“Therefore, NEC unanimously resolved that the strike action should continue for the next three weeks within which the union hopes that the foregoing reservations should have been addressed,” he said.
Moreover, Olugbeko explained that the NEC rising from the meeting condemned in totality the inaction of the federal government until the issues snowballed into the ongoing strike.
But commended the impressive level of compliance of chapters to the struggle and noted with satisfaction that the national strike action which he said has achieved the following improvements such as; causing the federal government to inaugurate the renegotiation team for FGN-COEASU 2010 agreement.
The release of an N15billion revitalisation fund for both the federal and state colleges of education that has been revalidated and approved by the federal government.
The national president of COEASU stated that the extension of the strike was also based on the fact that most of the state governments are yet to address issues locally peculiar to state-owned Colleges of Education, especially in Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Abia, Kogi, Kaduna, Zamfara, Yobe, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Edo and Ebonyi states.
The NEC meeting was attended by 57 chapters comprising delegates, former presidents, and members of the National Officers’ Council (NOC).
COEASU’s decision comes at the heels of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) insistence on the continuation of the union’s 6 months old strike despite the efforts made by the federal government to resolve the impasse.