The striking lecturers and non-academic staff of Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Oyo State, have suspended their more than four month industrial action with immediate effect.
Besides, the institution’s branch of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has tendered “unreserved apology” to the management of the college for what it called the deplorable conduct of some of its members on November 1.
The institution’s academic and non-academic staff had been on strike since June 28, 2018, in protest against delayed payment of salary arrears, which the governing council is said to have now decided to clear in installments.
A communiqué indicated that the truce was brokered at a meeting between representatives of the state government, which owns the institution, and all the stakeholders in the college, held at the Ministry of Education, Secretariat, Ibadan, on Sunday.
In the spirit of give and take, the management of the institution also agreed not to press criminal charges against members of the academic staff union at the centre of the “deplorable incident,” details of which the communique was silent upon.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi, led the government’s team to the meeting, while the Chairman of the institutions branch of COEASU, Mr. Olusegun Oyewumi, and other union leaders also attended.
The Provost of the College, Dr. Rasak Adefabi, led the management delegation to the meeting, which was also attended by students unions’ representatives, led by the Chairman of the state’s axis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. Moronkola Teslim.
The joint communiqué, which was issued at the end of the five-hour parley, indicated that the lecturers would suspend their strike on November 6, following which payment of outstanding salaries will commence immediately, starting with the October 2018 salaries.
The communiqué, signed by all the union leaders, also stated that academic activities would resume fully with immediate effect.
The communiqué reads, “That COEASU will suspend the strike action on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, following which payment of October 2018 salary will be made to its members on the same day. That the rumour making the rounds on sacking of a number of staff was dispelled.
“That COEASU of the college should tender formal unreserved apology to the Governing Council and the college management on the deplorable incident of Thursday, November 1.
“As such, all proposed criminal charges will be dropped and no staff shall be victimized or disciplined as a result of the strike action. That COEASU of the college should be more civil in their approach to agitation of their grievances in the future.”
Other stakeholders at the parley were the Chairmen of the institution’s branch of the senior staff union and Non-academic Staff Union (NASU) Messrs Segun Adeniji and Fatai Adebayo respectively.
Also in attendance were the NANS Oyo State axis Chairman, Mr. Moronkola Teslim; the college’s Students’ Union President, Mr. Afolabi Lawal, as well as the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry of education, Mrs. Ronke Fatoki, among others.
Meanwhile two separate statements addressed to the college’s governing council chairman and the provost respectively by Oyewumi, on Monday, announced the immediate suspension of the strike, as well as a formal apology to the management of the institution.
The decision, which comes a day earlier than agreed at the Sunday meeting, reads: “The congress of the COEASU met today, Monday, November 5, to consider sundry issues, especially her ongoing local industrial action.
“Based on the recent interventions of the Special Adviser to the governor on Education, which culminated in an all-stakeholders’ meeting on Sunday, November 4, 2018, the union hereby decided to suspend her ongoing local industrial action with immediate effect.
“I write on behalf of the entire COEASU, EACOED, Oyo, to express our regret and remorse and tender an unreserved apology to the college management for the unfortunate incident of Thursday, November 1, 2018.
“The apology is tendered in good faith and we appeal that you receive such in the same vein.”