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College of education union directs members to work two days a week amid fuel hike

COEASU president stated that the workers can no longer bear the burden of rising costs and hardship.
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The national leadership of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has issued a directive to its members across the country on Wednesday, advising them to only report to their workplaces two days per week.

The reason behind this decision is attributed to the recent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, which has contributed to a surge in inflation rates affecting the cost of transportation, food, and other essential goods.

Dr. Smart Olugbeko, the President of COEASU, expressed concerns during a press briefing in Abuja. He stated that the workers, including those in Colleges of Education, can no longer bear the burden of rising costs and hardship. Initially, they had hope that the situation would improve with government promised palliative measures and salary adjustments.

However, the implementation of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government resulted in a 250% increase in petrol prices. This, coupled with further price hikes to N650 per litre, has left the members struggling to afford transportation to work.

Given the dire circumstances, the Union leadership had no choice but to instruct members to attend work only two days a week. The decision will be ratified during an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, during which the specific workdays will be decided.

Dr. Olugbeko also highlighted the issue of stagnant salaries for staff in Colleges of Education since 2010, while the cost of living has exponentially increased over the years. Attempts to renegotiate salary structures have been futile, with the government offering meager increases, far below what the Union proposed.

Dr. Olugbeko urged President Bola Tinubu to urgently address the concerns of the workers to prevent further repercussions, such as disruptions to the academic calendar. He believes that with the President’s previous history of addressing similar issues during his tenure as Governor of Lagos State, a lasting and prompt solution can be found.

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