Abuja - The Colleges of Education of Academic Staff Union (COEASU)
said on Thursday that it had suspended its seven month-old strike for
three months with effect from Monday, July 21.
COEASU Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Asagha, announced the suspension at the end of a
meeting with the Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, in Abuja.
Asagha said that the three months period was to allow the Federal Government to
finalise its agreement with the union.
"We are trusting that they will keep their own side of the agreement because
in a month or two from now, we will follow it up."
"And in the third month, we will have a reason to totally
call off the strike. We believe that the issues will be resolved in no time."
"I have been told that a meeting has been called with the
National Salaries Income and Wages Commission as regard migration for tomorrow."
"This shows that the minister is committed to resolving the lingering crises
in the education sector,’’ he said."
He said that the minister had assured the union that nothing would challenge
the presidential approval.
He said the bone of contention between the union and the Federal Government
were the non-release of the White Paper on the visitation panels to all the Colleges
Asagha said that others were the non-release of funds for the implementation of
CONTISS 15 migration for lower cadre and arrears, among others.
He said the union also called on the Federal Government to set up a technical
committee that would look into the issues of security, outsource services.
The union chairman said that others were sabbatical leave, payment of death
benefits, among others.
Responding, the minister assured the unions that the issues would be resolved
within the stipulated time.
Shekarau said that the Federal Government was committed to resolving the
lingering issues in the sector.
"We had an understanding with the union members and the ministry pleaded
with them to go back to the classrooms."
"We have assured them that we will quickly attend to all the contending
"I gave them my word on behalf of the government that none of their members
would be victimised for participating in the strike.’’
"We have appealed to them to call the strike off while other issues are being
resolved,’’ Shekarau said.
The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike; Permanent Secretary,
MacJohn Nwaobiala; members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and
Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Nigeria attended the meeting.
and the ministry signed an agreement to ensure the implementation of the
demands within the period.