- Management faults strike
By Gabriel Dike
The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija, Epe, Lagos on Monday commenced an indefinite strike to press home the implementation of their 21 demands.
The strike which started early Monday morning lead to the disruption of academic activities in the college as COEASU members also staged protest around the college which took them to Provost, Registrar, Bursar and Librarian offices.
Briefing newsmen on the strike, COEASU MOCPED chairman, Mr Ayodele Adefuye said the on-going strike has the approval of its national body after the expiration of 21, 14 and seven days notices issued to the college management.
Adefuye who spoke alongside his exco said the college management has been informed of the on-going indefinite strike and used the occasion to ask Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to set up a panel of enquiry to look at the issues raised.
In a swift reaction, the Provost of MOCPED, Prof Olu Akeusola said COEASU did not follow due process in embarking on the indefinite strike as the management was not served 21, 14, and seven notices as required by labour law.
The COEASU boss disclosed that the strike would continue until the college management meets the demands and stressed that the forthcoming degree examination of students affiliated to Ekiti State University would not hold.
He gave the union’s demands to include 43 months unremitted pension after the state government bailout and increased subvention in 2013, payment of pension to staff under old pension scheme, retirement benefits of members and deceased not paid, appointment of staff in position of authority without due process, geometrical employment of new staff without following due process, inadequate office space, total collapse of furniture and car loan, lack of transparency in financial administration of the college.
Others are not payment of full salary and allowances, non-remuneration of members teaching on the college degree programmes, promotion of senior academic staff from senior lecturer to principal and principal lecturer to chief lecturer ought to be three years instead of four years, non release o imprest to deans and head of departments, failure to sponsor academic staff for workshop and conferences, failure of management to pay 50 per cent arrears of salary which LASU, LASPOTECH and AOCOED have paid, discipline of staff without recourse to due process, collapse of MOCPED degree programmes and conversion of college property bought through government fund and Tetfund to personal property.
According to Adefuye, the college management never invited the union to discuss the outstanding demands thus the congress resolved last week for members to embark on indefinite strike until the issues in contention are addressed.
He disclosed that NCE students just finish their exams but that his members would not participate in the forthcoming degree programmes examination and other academic related issues during the period of the strike.
Reacting to the ongoing strike, the provost, Prof Akeusola decried the action because no ultimatum was served to the management and recalled that management met the three unions in January 2016 on the outstanding demands and asked for more time.
He words:‘’It is true we have not remitted pension fund to the administrators because we receive every month N76.4million which is not enough. What we need to pay salary and other deduction is N94.3million. We borrowed N20million to settle previous outstanding debt to the unions.
‘’The government agreed to increase the college subvention to N135million effect from April 2016. We owe 32months and not 43months as stated by COEASU. The wage bill for Marc is N105million because of salary increment and promotion. Uptill now COEASU has notified the management about the ongoing strike.’’