There seems to be no end on sight in the lingering crisis between the State government, Management and Staff of Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo over alleged workers neglect and unfair treatment by the State government in collaboration with the school management.
Three trade unions groups in the institution at the weekend jointly issued 14 day ultimatum to the College Management and the state government to meet their demands or they would be forced to embark on another indefinite strike action.
The warning was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their congresses held over the weekend and made available to the newsmen in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
The three trade unions in the institution; College of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria SSUCON and the Non Academic Staff Union, ASU in the institution lamented the ill-treatment workers in the College have suffered since 2014.
The Union workers called for urgent attention of the government and the management to address the situation or force them to embark another industrial action.
Briefing the journalist in Abakaliki, Chairman of COEASU, Comrade Greg Esheya, his SSUCOEN counterpart, Comrade Onu Eugene and that of NASU in the college, Comrade Onuenyim Chinenye highlighted their major areas of ill-treatment by the state government to include; continued shortfall in staff salaries since November, 2015, non implementation of annual increments since 2015 and other financial benefits since 2014.
Others include, non payment of arrears of 37% of CONPASS and CONTEDISS since 2011 and their accompanying arrears.
The labour leaders further disclosed that, lecturers in the institution are being owed over 15 months salaries since 2015 adding that apart from the salaries owed the lecturers, the state government has also refused to gazzate the college even after gazzating Ebonyi State University.
He Union leaders further pointing out that the college workers have been operating without staff condition of service which in their view is a rape to human resources and potentials.
They noted that the state government is yet to implement the terminal benefits of the dead and retired staff of the institution and urged the state government to be sensitive to the suffering of workers of the College.
The Labour leaders commended the state government for affiliating twenty departments of the college with EBSU to run degree programme but regretted that more departments could have scaled through to run the degree programme if not for the loss of qualified academic manpower that left the Collage for greener pastures.
The unions therefore resolved that “there should be immediate restoration and payment of full salaries of staff and accruing arrears arising from the shortfall since November, 2015, payment of all other financial benefits to the college staff whether dead or alive as well as gazzating the college forthwith”.
We are therefore giving the College Management and all authorities involved 14 days ultimatum effective from Monday the 7th day of May, 2018 to address all the above demands positively, failure of which the unions shall invoke their 2015 suspended strike with a warning strike commencing on 21st May, 2018, the communiqué further reads in part.
According to them: it is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that the only state College of Education in Ebonyi State does not collapse out of sheer neglect. We have through patience, sacrifices and commitment to duties contributed our own quota to the survival of the college. It is now time for the college management and all authorities concerned to play their own part”.