The Academic Staff of Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin has embarked on an indefinite strike action over shortfall in salaries. Conscience Triumph reports that, in Pankshin on Friday, the Academic Staff accused the college authorities of not being sensitive to their welfare and plights as workers.
Mr Hembe Emmanuel, who chairs the (Federal) College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Panskhin, explained that the strike became imperative, following the inability of the management to rectify the airmailed in the salaries.
According to him, “Last December, we collected our salaries with a shortfall of 47 per cent; again this year, 2016, from January to June we have been experiencing a shortfall of between 8 and 9 per cent. We, as academic staff, felt this discrepancy and insensitivity to our welfare by the management should not be allowed to continue, so we decided to embark on strike,” he said.
Emmanuel stated categorically that the strike is an “indefinite” strike, warning that, “We don’t hope to return to the lecture halls if this inhuman treatment is not topped.” He said that management could not explain to them why their salaries were being tampered with in what he called a “very difficult” period.
The chairman called on the authorities to do something proactive to normalize their salaries for them to return, in the interest of the students, who he said are now on the receiving end.
Our correspondent gathered that the Non-Academic Staff Union of the college had been on strike for over three weeks now over the same issues. Disturbed by the strike action, the Academic Board of the college convened a meeting to deliberate on the matter. However, when contacted, the college’s Image Maker, Mr Istifanus Kyakmut, told our correspondent that, “The issue is not an internal matter but that from the Budget Office in Abuja. The Budget Office had earlier pledged to rectify the salary shortfall in June, but unfortunately when their June salaries came, the problem was still there,” he lamented.
Kyamut said, “Although it is a fact that the aggrieved workers expect the college management to fight for them, which it is doing and will always do, and not fail.” The PRO expressed the hope that the Budget Office will try and meet up the request of the college staff – both academic and non-academic, for normalcy to return in the college.