Pankshin Fed College Gasps Over Staff Shortage: “We are overstretched”
The Academic Staff Union of the Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin, has decried the shortage of staff in the college as part of the reasons for its ongoing strike. The College’s Academic Staff had declared an indefinite strike action on July 1 in protest of what they described as “management insensitivity” to their plights and welfare.
Chairman of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Mr Hembe Emmanuel, told newsmen in Pankshin on Wednesday that since 2012, no single lecturer had been employed to replace those, who have retired or deceased, or who left the college for greener pastures.
“The non-replacement of those retired, transferred and deceased academic staff since January 2012, have been weighing us down, and we felt we cannot continue like this anymore. As a result of this, the few of us that are remaining are so overstretched with work load, following shortage of staff in the college,” he explained.
Emmanuel further explained that the strike, which the union embarked upon on the July 1, was not just because of the salary matter but other issues such as the shortage of staff. He said some of the issues include the management’s inconsiderate determination to implement the still-under-review Scheme/Condition of Service, “even though the content has not been made known to us at any time by the college.”
According to him, one other burning issue was the non-implementation of 2015 staff promotion/annual increments and the attendant arrears. The chairman expressed regret that the “management failed to understand the weight those issues placed on our members – whether taken single or as a whole – and remains largely uncommitted to the settlement of the dispute.”
The chairman said, since the suspension of the Union’s first strike action of Jan 19 on Feb 29, the dispute has continued to grow and accumulate to include: the non-payment of 47% of December, 2015 salaries, the irregular shortfall in the salaries of its members since January. He pledged the union’s readiness to return to class if the disputed issues would be looked into and addressed by the management and the parent federal ministry of education.