By Akon Etumukwa
The two-month-old strike action by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, may be called off next week as the union has reached the final stage of negotiations with the Federal Government and contentious issues are being addressed.
National President of COEASU, Comrade Nuhu Ogrima, who drop the hint in Abuja after a meeting of the national officers council of colleges of education, said the union could review its position over the industrial action next Wednesday.
Ogrima expressed delight at the steps being taken by government to address the demands of the union, adding that the national leadership of the union has seen the extent of the commitment made by government and will present it’s position to an extended executive meeting next Wednesday.
“As we speak, a lot of these issues that we have in contention with government are being addressed. We are glad to tell you that the steps taken by government are being followed up and we have seen the extent of the commitment and we believe that there is need to convene an expanded national executive council meeting to present the position of government and then the status of all those issues that we have in contention,” he said.
He noted that the issues raised by the union include funding and infrastructures which is supposed to be addressed by the needs assessment after its report was reviewed in 2007 and submitted to government.
“The other issue has to do with the renegotiation that is ongoing, and there are lots of issues on that renegotiation that bother on students. We are looking at the possibility of having the students welfare addressed.
“We also have the issue of outsource services and then the issue of the welfare of staff. We have the issue of salaries, issue of allowances; we also have the issue of administration and management of the institutions,” he said.
According him, “to a greater extent, the commitment of government have been proven to be real and that is why we have deemed it necessary to convene a national officers meeting in the next one week to present a situation report and assess the extent of compliance with a view to taking a position different from where we are.”
Ogrima said next Wednesday, an expanded national executive council of the union will meet to take a decision, adding that the union is monitoring the commitment of the government at the moment between now and next week.
He expressed hope that there will be further developments that will make the entire union take the appropriate decision.