FCE Potiskum embarks on industrial action



The Yobe state chapter of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COASU) of Federal College of Education (Technical), Potiskum, has yesterday embarked on an indefinite strike action over the plights of academic staff members of the college.

Addressing journalists Thursday at a news conference in Potiskum, Chairman of COASU, Comrade Sa’id Mutari said that the strike action was reached at yesterday’s congress meeting over the endless plights
of lecturers on the non-payments of salaries and allowances.

He said the Provost of the College Management, Dr. Madu Mohammad has not been cooperative on the plights of our academic staff for quite a long period of time which led to us to unanimously resolved to stop lectures and shut down this College till further notice.

“The National Officers at College of Education, Kontagora gave us directives to come and intimate our Provost which we did. Since then; we came but the Provost has not invited us to dialogue; because we prefer dialogue. In our own Union activities, we take strike action as the last option; we never consider it as a better option.”

Mutari however noted: “We always prefer dialogue unfortunately the Leadership of the Union was never invited by the Provost of the College, deliberately I gave the Provost of the College grace of two days probably he may invite me but unfortunately he did not.

There was pressures from my members, I went ahead to call for a congress meeting today 16th March 2016. We discussed on the directives given to us, deliberated and finally and seek for the mandate of the congress to close down the College, they took a popular unanimous decision by giving me mandate to close down the College which we did
gentlemen of the press.”

Speaking on the basis of industrial action, Mutari said: “Yes, some of the problems we discussed are classified into four; there is an allowance that is referred to as ‘Excess Workload.’ Since this administration came on board, it has never paid us, they deny us, they said it will be suspended until when the economy improves, for the last two years they have never paid us a kobo.”

He said that the other unresolved issue is the “conference allowance” we have agreed with the management for the last ten years that they will settle the first payment in September of every year.

“The main issue that prompted this strike action is the ‘Peculiar Academic Allowance’ this PAA is part of the allowances that differentiate between the academic staff and the non- teaching Staff.

It became a problem, we have been meeting; unfortunately the Provost has not been listening, he just gave us blanket judgment whether he will pay or not, that there is no money, he always gives us flimsy excuses, we realized, it is not so,” lamented Mutari on the soar working relationship with College management.

He added: “Some union leaders resisted in so many Colleges like FCE Yola, Gombe, Abeakuta and Delta but after declaring strike actions, their Provosts called off the strike immediately by preparing a schedule of payment but to our surprise the Provost here is not even here in the campus. He is aware of our Congress meeting today, we served him a notification, and he is aware but left.”

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