By Kevin O. Egesi
At the National Executive Council meeting on 19th July, 2022 it was agreed that the strike continues.
In a state where our staff are owed salary for 29 months of an out-dated salary structure instead of CONPCASS implemented in other Colleges of Education since 2011; what can one expect other than people dying every now and then due to hunger, starvation and no money for medical upkeep?
Abia State Government’s refusal to neither release nor increase the subvention to its only College when due is the sole cause of all our problems. Do the staff of this College not deserve a good welfare package? Must we be buried before our death, as is the current status of the staff of the College? Abia State Government obviously seems to have abandoned the College in every possible way, and does not care about the staff on whether we live or die! Who did we offend, the living or the dead? Whoever, please, have mercy on us!
The College Management is also complicit in this. They seem to have vowed to kill the College by force with inhuman policies that water down the educational standard in the College, viz:
1. Deduction of staff salary by between 10% – 15% and claim it is with the Governor’s approval.
2. Non remittance of more than 50 months Unions’ check-off dues deducted from paid salaries in the past years of the administration to the Union with the stance of: “I can’t empower my enemy.”
3. Deducting 5% staff salary on the pretext of it being used to cut overgrown grasses in the College.
4. Non-financial implementation of staff promotion since 2008 till date.
5. No promotion from 2017 till date thereby denying the staff a better future somewhere else should the need arise.
6. No gratuity, no pension for staff; in fact, nothing to look forward to when we retire!
7. About 99% of the structures in the College are TETFUND-sponsored. While we commend the present Management of the College for most of these, even if poorly executed, we note that the Management is enormously benefiting from these projects springing up every day in the College! We ask: Of what use are the structures in an environment with the lowest staff morale? We just lost a young man and a pregnant woman during child birth; painfully, her husband was sacked some years back without paying him “shishi” of more than 20 months owed salary. Is this not man’s inhumanity to man?
A CRY FROM OUR PAINED HEARTS
Well, since it is obvious that both the College Management and Abia State Government do not care about us, our only trust now lies in God, and in the hands of anyone the Almighty may use to save us.
In our pains, and while we mourn our departed colleagues who died in the struggle, we pray that their souls rest in peace!
Comrade Kevin O. Egesi.