The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) on Monday, commended President Bola Tinubu for discarding the idea of tertiary institutions, including colleges of education, remitting 40 per cent of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the national treasury, saying it shows the President has a listening ear.
Smart Olugbeko, the President of COEASU handed down the commendation as he called on the Federal Government to also review the centralization of payroll administration through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in a statement issued in Abuja.
Olugbeko lamented that the policy undermines the statutory functions of the Governing Councils, and breaches the establishment integrity of the tertiary education sector in general and the College of Education system in particular.
According to him, IPPIS has become a means of defrauding COEASU members as there are thousands of cases of short-payment, outright non-payment, unlawful delay, and/or withholding of third-party deductions.
“We urge President Bola Tinubu to revisit the issue of IPPIS in the interest of justice and industrial harmony,” the COEASU President stated.
- COEASU Seeks Exclusion From 40% IGR Remittance To Federal Treasury
- COEASU To Join NLC, TUC Industrial Action
- COEASU may resume strike over nonremittance of salary deductions
Reacting to the suspension of the 40% IGR, the Union said it received with immense satisfaction the decision of the President to suspend the backward policy directing tertiary institutions including Colleges of Education to start remitting 40% of a non-existent IGR to the federal treasury.
The statement reads, “While we knew absolutely that the policy would not stand as we were poised to resist it with all legitimate powers we possess as a Trade Union in the sector, we must acknowledge the sense of good reason, listening disposition, democratic ethos and responsible leadership shown by Mr. President in suspending the policy without allowing the situation to degenerate into an unnecessary face-off between labour and Government.
“We therefore commend Mr. President for his sensitivity and amiability on the matter. With this gesture of Mr. President, it seems to us that our Union has eventually found a Government that is compatible in disposition to our Union towards an alternative dispute resolution approach through constructive engagement, social dialogue, and proactive bargaining characterized by mutual respect and pliability to superior logic.
“Nonetheless, we urge the President to go a step further by deploying this promising disposition to urgently address the challenges of funding in the College of Education system and other tiers of the tertiary education sector altogether.
“We call on Mr. President to always ensure that issues raised by labour are proactively dealt with through social dialogue and collective bargaining. By doing so, we can together ensure industrial tranquillity and an uninterrupted academic calendar in our institutions.
“For example, the centralization of payroll administration through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) undermines the statutory functions of the Governing Councils, and breaches the establishment integrity of the tertiary education sector in general and the College of Education system in particular.
“It opens the payroll up to unilateral manipulations and all manners of fraud beyond the control of the management of our institutions. It has eroded the power and authority of Provosts and Governing Councils to employ as the office of the Head of Service determines who and when to employ.
“IPPIS contravenes global best practices in the management of tertiary institutions and disrespects the peculiarities of the COE system.
“Mr. President also needs to address the unlawful sack of Governing Councils in violation of their statutory tenure of three years and contravention of the FCE Establishment Act.
“Of equal concern to our Union is the need to conclude the long overdue renegotiation of COEASU-FG 2010 agreement; upward review of the monthly running grant being given to the Managements of Colleges of Education and timely release of the fund.
“Resolution of the issue of outsourced services particularly security and cleaning; and the implementation, without further delay, of the special bursary and grant to education students in Universities and Colleges of Education”.