Strong indications emerged yesterday that the over 7 months old strike embarked by the College of Education Academic Staff Union, (COEASU), would be call off Thursday.
Our reporter learnt that leadership of COEASU is expected to meet with the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, on Thursday, 17th of July, 2014, on the issues concerning the strike.
It is also expected that the strike will be called off after their meeting with the Education Minister.
The National President of COEASU, Dr. Emmanuel Asagha, who gave the indication in Abuja said that the strike may be suspended soon, while addressing stakeholders at the National Commission on Colleges of Education, NCCE.
The meeting was convened at the insistence of Chairman, Committee of Council of Chairmen of Federal Colleges of Education, Senator Emmanuel Anosike, aimed at finding ways to resolve strike.
While reading their resolutions at the end of the meeting, senator Anosike said, after reviewing the strike at the meeting, they agreed the strike has been prolonged.
However, resolutions by COEASU read, “the union agreed to call off the strike in principle subject to the following, that there shall be no victimisation on the basis of the strike.
“Salaries so withheld be released on bulk. Secular on the implementation should be released. Government should set up a technical committee to look into other pending issues”.
It would be recalled that COEASU, embarked on the indefinite strike over grievances relating to government’s failure to release the white paper of visitation panel it undertook two years ago.
There were also issues of salary harmonisation under CONTISS structure as well as disparity in the civil service system,especially between degree programmes and other technical based degrees churned out from the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
According to Asagha, who led the union members to the meeting, “If we say strike will be suspended on Friday, or it will be suspended on Saturday, whether it is going to be suspended today, work will begin on Monday“.
COEASU boss, insisted that, ” We also need the Minister to also respect the commitment you people have made with us, so that you can continue following up on this issues.
“We have soften the grounds already, it is as if we are going there to just approve all the thing we have said. This is the determinant we and all of us are going to go home smiling, am sure after the suspension of the strike”.
He said the intention of the union is to ensure that the right thing is done and the lecturers return to the classroom well motivated.
“One lesson that Nigeria should learn is that we must not always strike before we get things done”, he noted.
He complained that the sector has suffered lot of neglect and discrimination from the federal government.