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Strike: We can’t be intimidated by FG’s ‘no work, no pay’ threat - COEASU

- College of Education lecturers staff union has reacted to the federal government’s threat of no work, no pay

- The union said it is not intimidated by the government’s action

- The union’s president said the government’s threat shows lack of care of the less privileged

College of Education lecturers have reportedly said that they are not intimidated by the federal government threat of ‘no work, no pay’ policy that is contained in the draft White Paper recently released.

The lecturers said the threat to cow them was an indication of insensitivity and irresponsibility by the government, Vanguard reports.

A statement by the national president, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Nuhu Ogirima in Abuja, Friday, October 19, said that the federal government’s disposition had only vindicated the perception that it does not care for the less privileged, whose children constitute over 90% of Colleges of Education students population.

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The statement read: “The federal government, rather than own up to her failure to deliver good governance, by addressing our issues and, indeed, those of the larger populace, has threatened no work no pay.

“This grandstanding is a mark of not only insensitivity but also irresponsibility towards the law-abiding labour force of our dear country.

“Recall that we have been receiving fractional/mutilated salaries for years in all Federal Colleges of Education, especially because of the non-inclusion of PAA.

“Where salaries are paid, it is the cooperative societies membership subscriptions and Unions’ dues that are being used to service/augment government allocation for salaries.

“So, if we didn’t threaten government no pay no work, why would government threaten us with no work no pay because we’re now requesting government to pay us full salary, by the strike?

“Conversely, FG disposition has only vindicated our perception that the current federal government does not care for the less privileged, whose children constitute over 90% of Colleges of Education students population.

“Else, how would FG justify its refusal to implement 2014 Needs Assessment report on the 70 public COEs, which review it called for again in 2017, when it began the implementation of the same report for another tertiary education institution, to which the children and wards of the elites subscribe, in 2015?

“What justification has FG to refuse the full implementation of CONTISS 15 by denying the lower cadre of COEs, much more so when the same FG did for a sister sub-sector both of whom a presidential approval was given in 2009?

“As we conclude the first phase of the national strike, we urge you all to be not distracted by the intimidation and threat of no work no pay. The threat should rather strengthen our resolve that enough is enough of exploitative work. It’s no pay no work!

“Recall that there has not been any commensurate adjustment in salary since the pump price of fuel was unadjusted astronomically. We’ve never been more impoverished than now, it has been exploitation galore for this administration, I dare say.

“Furthermore, FG commitment to the renegotiation has been quite questionable, as it has not come to terms with us on our proposed salary structure and a host of other issues. So, do brace up for a prolonged battle – it is a no retreat no surrender action, for if we refused to stand for COE system now, we may not get it right again.”

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) called for commitment and sincerity by stakeholders on the issue of the agitation for a new national minimum wage.

NLC’s national president, Ayuba Wabba, made the call while speaking with journalists shortly after an interaction with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) held on Wednesday, October 17, in Abuja.

Wabba also said the economic challenge occasioned by the continued devaluation, exchange rate, increase in pump price of petroleum products and high electricity tariff had virtually eroded the purchasing power of Nigerians.

He said a review of the minimum wage of N18,000 was imperative.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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