Lecturers of Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, have suspended the one-week warning strike they started on Monday Jan. 13.
Briefing journalists on Monday in Ikwo, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of the college, Mr Greg Esheye, said the strike was to highlight the grievances of the union against the state government.
The lecturers were protesting over high taxes, failure of government to constitute the institution’s governing council, pay pension and gratuity to retired workers and raise their retirement age to 65.
According to him, the suspension is to give the government an opportunity to open up negotiations with the union.
“The union is committed to ensuring that the on-going industrial dispute is resolved amicably, that is why all the lecturers were back to deliver lectures.
“We are hopeful that with the suspension of the strike that government will act fast and open the channel of negotiation with leadership of the union to forestall an impending indefinite strike.
“We avail ourselves of any avenue that could lead to peaceful resolution of the current industrial impasse in the interest of students and parents,” Esheye said.
He said the union would soon meet to assess the impact of the suspended warning strike and determine its next line of action.
The chairman appealed to well meaning members of the state to prevail on the state government to meet the demands of the union to avert disruption of the institution’s academic programme.
Meanwhile, some students of the institution who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria expressed happiness over the suspension of the strike.
They called on the state government to immediately commence negotiation with the union to resolve all issues in the interest of industrial harmony.
Some of them including Blessing Elom, Charity Oko, Benjamin Agbo and Daniel Esomchi among others said they were happy to return to classes.
“The decision of the union to draw the attention of government to their plight through a warning strike is commendable.
“We believe that government will act fast and meet the lecturers’ demands to avoid derailment in our academic programme,” Elom said.
Agbo said: “Government should not wait for our lecturers to embark on an indefinite strike before it meets their demands.”
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