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In Anambra, COEASU begins three weeks warning strike, begs parents to withdraw children

By Okechukwu Okechukwu

The College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) of the Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra State, Friday, urged parents and guardians to withdraw their wards from the institution as they have begun three weeks warning strike.

The COEASU Chairman, Federal College of Education Technical (FCET), Umunze, Dr Churchill Okonkwo, who disclosed this in a press conference, explained that the industrial action was to demand for their unpaid allowances.

According to Okonkwo, the strike commenced on Tuesday after an extensive meeting of members of the union, who expressed displeasure over indebtedness to them by the management but the management was still using counter notice to persuade students not to leave the school premises. 

He said, “We are here to notify you that lecturers of Federal College of Education, Umunze have commenced a three weeks warning strike. We believe we want to let the public know, especially parents of our students who may want to believe that their children were in school undergoing academic activities to know that no academic activity is going on in the college now.

“The management of the college has been trying to deny the strike, but truth is that the students are simply staying idle in school, and we believe it is a bit harmful to leave students on campus to stay idle without any activity. You know that by allowing them to remain idle could predispose them to insecurity and crisis.

“DTA or Mobilization of academic staff who go for supervision for teaching practice has not been paid since 2018. There is also the TETFUND teaching practice intervention, which helps to augment whatever the college gives for teaching practice supervision, and in Umunze it has not been accessed since 2016. And other welfare packages like degree Honorarium.

“We have been patient for too long, yet this money doesn’t get paid every year. We have even sent a peace committee made up of former acting provosts to meet the provost of the college, Dr Tessy Okoli, but she has refused to budge. That is why we decided to go on strike.”

However, a short notice circulated by the Public Relations Officer of the institution,  Mr Sam Otti, insisted that there was no strike, while also advising students to prepare and participate for their end of semester examination which ought to have commence same Tuesday.

Okonkwo, however, said the industrial action disrupted the examination even though the management was still coercing  some lecturers and Head of Departments to return to classroom for the purpose of organising the examinations.

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