Striking members of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) branch have vowed to sustain the on-going indefinite strike to press home their demands.
The union explained that all academic activities including part-time courses have been suspended until their demands are met by the Lagos State Government and management of AOCOED.
On Thursday, no fewer than seven executive members of COEASU AOCOED branch were arrested, detained and later released by the police on the order of the college management. The union leaders were picked up at the entrance of the Provost office, Dr. Omola Ladele by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ijanikin.
Among those arrested, held and later released include the union chairman, Mr. Ige Ajayi, secretary, M.O. Alaka and five other executives of COEASU on the order of the college management.The COEASU AOCOED chairman, Mr. Ige Ajayi said two months ago, the union suspended the industrial action over some germane issues affecting its members.
In a swift reaction, the Registrar of AOCOED, Mr. S. A. Muhideen said the management is not aware of the strike and that outstanding salary arrears have been cleared.
Addressing newsmen on the strike, Mr. Ige said the union is compelled to declare an industrial dispute by resuming the suspended strike from December 3.
Ige confirmed that the strike was authorised by the congress and has the blessings of the national body and the zone
He explained that the college management and the Lagos State Government will be informed of their decision to resume the suspended strike.
The chairman said the union waited for a long time to receive and appraise the responses from the college management and the government without success, thus the congress at its last meeting approved the strike.
His words: “It has become obvious that our union has been taken for granted by all standards. The union is left with no other option than to prove to its members the genuineness of its resolve to defend the union demands.”
He listed the outstanding demands to include unpaid 53.37 % allowance and arrears, N350 million bail out, 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.
“We have come to realize that the long period of time given yielded no result and nothing positive has been achieved,” he stressed.
Ige further noted that the union is going on a long journey and can only stop when the state government and management address outstanding demands.
According to him, the outstanding demands started in 2010 and some tertiary institutions in Lagos State are paying their lecturers. He wondered why COEASU members in AOCOED are treated are different.
Ige further disclosed that with the strike, no academic activities will take place in AOCOED until their demands are met.
But the Registrar, Mr. Muhideen said the three staff unions did not mention the hazard and transportation allowance until in 2017 when the state budget was approved.
Muhideen confirmed that the two allowances have been factored into the 2019 budget but that government has not released funds for the subvention and bail out.
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