#iPGN: Workers of Unity Colleges, Ministry of Education Suspend Strike

Workers in the 104 unity schools and the Federal Ministry of Education will resume academic and other activities Monday following the suspension of their four-week-old strike in connection with unpaid salary arrears.

The Secretary General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Mr. Alade Bashir Lawal, who confirmed the suspension of the strike at the weekend in Lagos, said the decision to suspend the industrial action followed the release of the sum of N527,643,444 by the federal government to pay the first batch of the promotion arrears to the staff of the Federal Ministry of Education.

However, the union has called for the removal of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mr.MacJohn Nwaobiala.

The union’s secretary pointed out that the negative attitude of the permanent secretary towards the welfare of the ministry workers and the ignoble role he played, provided the ingredients that fuelled the industrial action.

He emphasised that if the permanent secretary had done the needful, all the allowances, many of which have been outstanding since 2007 would have been paid.

“Persistent strikes in the education sector have more than confirmed that the permanent secretary has lost his bearing and as such, the best option for the government is to post him out of the ministry before he completely destroys the sector,” he said.

He disclosed that a task force made up of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, the union and the Ministry of Education had been set up to ensure that the N1.7 billion needed to complete the payment of promotion arrears and other allowances are released by the Budget Office of the Federation.

Part of the agreement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh, the Secretary-General, ASCSN and Dr. M.B. Umar, Director (Human Resource Management), Federal Ministry of Education, read: “The outstanding sum of N1.7 billion which covers the balance of 2007 to 2010 promotion arrears, the supplementary promotion arrears for 2011, promotion arrears for 2012, outstanding salaries for newly employed and re-instatement allowance, will be paid immediately the sum of N1.7 billion is released to the Federal Ministry of Education by the Budget Office of the Federation.”

It was further agreed that the sum of N25 million would be set aside by the ministry monthly (with effect from September, 2014) to offset other allowances owed members of staff.

The union’s scribe listed other allowances to include the first 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodation, duty tour allowance, 2010 mandatory training allowance, burial expenses allowance, FTC course allowance, repatriation allowance, etc.

The union had on September 19 called out its teeming members at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, the federal inspectorate offices and the 104 federal unity colleges on strike to press home its demands for the payment of the above entitlements and allowances.

Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).

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