Welfare: Delta-Owned Colleges Of Education To Drag State Government To Courteducation Friday, May 16th, 2014
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Asaba
Three Delta State-owned colleges of Education have threatened to drag the state government to court over its alleged insensitivity to the plight of workers of the institutions.
The colleges, located in Agbor, Ika South; Warri, in Warri South; as well as Mosogar, in Ethiope West council area of the state, have been on strike for the past four months.
Chairman of the Negotiating team, Mr. Imide Israel, said on Thursday in Asaba that the unions have no option than to head to the Industrial Court of Arbitration, Calabar to resolve the issues that led to the industrial action.
He accused the state government of not living up to the expectation of workers as regards the contributory pension scheme, adding that staffs that retired in the last three years have become a ghost of their former selves due to the encumbrances that characterize access to the scheme.
The chairman also listed other grouse of the union, to include the issues of haphazard implementation of migration to CONTESS 15 for deserving officers, stressing that the personal interpretation given to documents from the National Commission for Colleges of Education NCCE by the Director of Prepayment Audit was a cause of concern.
He noted that the law was signed in 2008 while the Delta State government domesticated it in 2013, adding that the names of staff of the institution were forcefully removed from payroll without any notice.
Imide expressed dismay over the action of the director of Pre-payment Audit “who has unilaterally stopped some staff salaries that have not attained 65 years,” saying that four years on, the account of staff of colleges of Education at Agbor and Warri are yet to be credited.
He said sabbatical leave, which is a universal academic activity has also been “totally eroded by the Delta State Government.
Imide, added that “because of the removal of autonomy as a result of the forceful inclusion of colleges of Education system into the central pay system, our lecturers have not been going on sabbatical,” adding that “this action by the state government kills the dream for research.”
According to him, the issue of irregular and excessive tax deductions has become an intractable problem, pointing out that “the state government has bluntly and obstinately refused to correct the anomaly in the system, which has continued to make life unbearable for the workers.
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