June 24, 2024

Anger as lecturers protest six years of unpaid allowances in Anambra

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Angry lecturers of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Monday protested against over six years of unpaid allowances and alleged intimidation by the management of the college.

The lecturers warned the provost and management of the institution to stop intimidating their members over their demand for what is due to them.

The Chairman, FCET Umunze chapter of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Dr Churchill Okonkwo, led the protest.

The lecturers had a week ago declared a three-week warning strike against the management of the college.

They also asked parents to withdraw their children and wards from the college in their own interests.

But the management of the college in the reaction described the COEASU’s strike as fake news.

It said, “Some online reports had quoted the Chairman, COEASU, FCET Umunze, Dr Churchill Okonkwo of asking parents to withdraw their children from the college because the lecturers in the institution had commenced 21 days warning strike.”

The Provost of the College, Dr Tessy Okoli, had cautioned the students not to be deceived by what she described as a fake strike report.

She said the strike was intended to cause panic and incite students’ unrest.

Also, she advised journalists to always verify their reports to avoid misleading the public, stressing that any student that absents himself or herself from school during the examination period would have themselves to blame.

But COEASU on Monday insisted that lecturers of the college were on strike and warned the provost and management to stop intimidating them and deceiving the public with falsehoods.

Chairman of the COEASU, Mr Churchill Okonkwo said, “As a Union, we are all aware of the sacrifices we have made as a body to carry on with our tasks in the College despite the neglect of our welfare packages by the management which is currently so versed in the divide and rule antics instead of addressing the raised issues.

“Our college has been made a laughing stock to other Colleges in terms of our staff welfare, environment and governance. We’re the dirtiest and most unkempt College in Nigeria with overgrown grasses everywhere. No clean sanitary facilities resulted in lecturers and students mostly relieving themselves in the highly overgrown grass belts.

“We are also aware that if not for COEASU wielding into a source for N1m to sponsor Agajelu to Abuja to demand our welfare that Management didn’t care that we are owed the TETFUND intervention since 2016 neither were they sympathetic to the fact that Teaching Practice (TP) mobilisation hadn’t been paid since 2018 and the same nonchalance has also attended our demands for degree honorarium.”

“It means that our meagre salaries are tasked to pay for our transportation to supervise teaching practice exercise since 2016 whereas the management always collects their DTA every time they travel or leave the college environment for official duties,” they stated.

“They always think that justice can be pushed aside with injustice and this is quite unfair. At our congress of Tuesday 23rd August 2022, the provost was given a fair chance to appeal to us and make promises that will postpone the strike but rather than do it she resorted to threat.”

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