The industrial action by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Adeniran Ogunsanyo College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos chapter on Thursday took a new twist as the striking lecturers locked out the Provost, Dr. Omolola Ladele.
Daily Sun gathered that COEASU members led by the branch chairman, Mr. Ige Ajayi locked the main gate of the college and prevented the provost from entering and accessing her office.
Recalled that COEASU AOCOED members on Tuesday, December 3, embarked on an indefinite strike to press home the implementation of their demands by the Lagos State Government and the college management.
Among the demands of COEASU includes unpaid 53.37 % allowance and arrears, N350 million bailout, epileptic power supply in the college, non-resuscitation of IGR programmes, unpaid outstanding honoraria, management inability to establish college bookshop and inexplicable promotion criteria for academic staff.
The policemen were invited by the college Chief Security Officer and they were able to open the gates as well as arrested some union leaders.
Confirming the new development, the Special Adviser on Education to the Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, who faulted the on-going strike by COEASU said the provost and other principal officers were locked out today (Thursday).
Wahab said COEASU chairman, Mr. Ige led members of the union to lock the gates before the policemen came, reopened the gates and restored normalcy on campus.
He confirmed that the provost after the police intervention had gained access to her office while the COEASU chairman and some union leaders were taken to the station for further questioning.
”Nothing like a suspended strike in the labour law. They don’t have the powers to block the gates. Ige and others have been arrested by the police. The law should take it to cause.
”The governor has signed the bailout and it is being processed. The former administration did nothing. The labour law is clear if you go on strike without following due process, on salary. They are not been fair to the governor by going on strike,” he stated.
On the strike, the SA confirmed that he received a letter from COEASU about the industrial action and invited the provost and other management to his office for deliberations.
He insisted that the union did not follow due process before embarking on the strike and also that they do not have the right to lock up the college, adding ”the labour law requires they give the government and management 21, 14, seven and three days notice before but they failed to do so.”
Wahab disclosed that during a meeting with COEASU officers in his office recently, he told them that work was in progress about the bailout and other demands.
Efforts by Daily Sun to reach the COEASU chairman, Mr. Ige to comment on the lock-up of the college gate proved abortive but a senior AOCOED lecturer said preventing VCs, rectors and provosts from entering any tertiary institutions are unions strategy to enforce their demands.