Academic staff in College of Education Pankshin suspends strike action
Striking staff of the Federal College of Education (FCE) Pankshin have suspended its two months’ strike action. Normal academic activities have resumed at the college Tuesday.
The unions of the college, namely, the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union of College of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), National Association of Technologists (NAT) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), had embarked on strike over what they termed as “management lukewarm attitude” towards their welfare.
They had alleged that, all staff of FCE Pankshin have only been paid 53 percent of their December, 2015 salaries, and had remained unpaid; while there have been an irregular shortage in the salaries of their members from January to June, 2016, which makes up between 8 and 10 per cent.
They also claimed that they have endured management’s excuses of ‘lack of funds’ for meeting the demands of their members in the areas of promotions and annual increments, which led to the prolonged strike of 2014.
Mr Emmanuel Hemba, COEASU chairman, told newsmen in Pankshin on Tuesday that his union alongside those of SSUCOENN and NAT has agreed to suspend the strike for now.
“We all agreed to suspend the strikes on the ground that, some of the contending issues have been addressed by the management and federal government. Issues like the 47 per cent December salary and the salary shortfalls of January to May have been released to management and paid to us,” he said.
Mr Hemba pointed out that “Because we have issues like shortfall of May–July pending, as each of these months we are being owed 8.65 percent of our salaries.”
According to him, “We decided to shift grounds on the fact that both the federal government and the management have made efforts at addressing our demands.”
He called on the government to quickly take decisive steps at addressing the issue of replacement and recruitment of more staff to reduce the burden on them, due to shortage of staff in the college.
According to him, promotion and annual increment of 2015 are yet to be implemented and paid, and called on the government to release it so as to avoid any future friction between the union and government.
Speaking also, NASU chairman, Mr Jeremiah Dimlong, said that they have not suspended their own strike because of some little ‘gray areas’ that need to be addressed by the management.
“But all the same, we shall be holding our congress tomorrow, Wednesday, to consider our stand during which we might also suspend our strike like our sister union did today (Tuesday).”
Responding, the college SUG President, Mr Steve Nkat, expressed joy and gratitude to the staffers for suspending the almost two months’ strikes, saying, “The strike had brought serious setbacks to us as students, and we hope that there will be nothing like such again in this college.
“We are so grateful that the staff reconsidered their positions and suspended the strikes to allow for resumption of full academic activities in the college. We also appreciated the management for meeting the demands of the striking staff unions in the college, which helps in bringing back life to the college,” he said.
Nkat also commended the entire students for their good moral conducts during the striking period, and assured them of better service as the union leads them.