The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has ordered its members nationwide to go to work fir just two days in a week until the Federal Government succons to its demand for a 200 per cent increase in salary
This is contained in a statement signed by COEASU National President, Dr Smart Olugbeko and issued on Wednesday.
Olugbeko said the decision was reached at the union’s extraordinary meeting held on Tuesday, amidst the difficulty of its members to get to work as a result of hike in the price of petrol.
According to him, the implementation of removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government two months ago raised the price of a litre of petrol by 250 per cent.
”This worsened the inflationary rate on the cost of transportation, food and other essential commodities and impoverished the Nigerian people.
”Workers, including staff of colleges of education, kept faith with government and chose to endure the untold hardship thinking it would be only for a while as government promised to roll out palliative measures.
Alas! while our capabilities to sustain hope were already exhausted, the price of petrol rose further to N650 per litre.
”Now, the leadership of the union has been inundated by members’ complaints that they could no longer go to work as a result of hike in the price of petrol and resultant high cost of transportation,” he said
Olugbeko explained that it became inevitable for the union to direct members to go to work only two days weekly.
He added that an emergency NEC meeting would be convened to ratify the decision to decide the specific days of the week members were to go to work.
“The present salary of staff of colleges of education was approved in 2010, 13 years ago.
“This means we have been on same salary since 2010 while petrol price rose intermittently from N65/N70 in 2010 to N650 in 2023 (tenfold increase).
“Our salary structure which is subject to renegotiation at three-year interval has remained static for 13 years, skipping four due renegotiations.
“We call on the federal government to urgently do the needful because the inevitable action of the union against this hardship will have devastating effects on the students.
“As it will lead to a prolonged academic calendar – a semester of 16 weeks will become 32 weeks or more; while teaching practice exercise of six months will become 12 months,” he said.
The national president, however, called on President Bola Tinubu to quickly address the issue of salary adjustment for staff of colleges of education.