The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union has decried the exclusion of its members in the recent 40 per cent pay rise for federal workers.
Though the body commended the pay rise for civil servants, whom it described as “the drivers of government policies,” it noted that it was, however, appalled at the government’s “decision to exclude some categories of workers, including lecturers and other workers in the tertiary institutions, even though the various unions in the sector have made several overtures to government on salary increase.”
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, COEASU described the move by the government as a plot to create confusion.
“The present action is an attempt by the Federal Government to divide Nigerian workers and cause confusion within the system.
“The discriminatory increase is an attempt to promote divide and rule and make Nigerian workers unable to speak with one voice on the issues that affect their general welfare.
“Government, in granting the increase, explained that it was to cushion the effect of inflation and increase in the cost of living on civil servants but excluded lecturers and other workers in the tertiary education sector as if they are immune to inflation and the geometric rise in cost of living.”
Speaking further in the statement, COEASU noted that “lecturers and other workers in Colleges of Education had their last increase in salary in 2010, which was 13 years ago.”
“The implication is that what the lecturers were earning in 2010 is the same amount they still earn in 2023. There had been various efforts on the part of the union to make government renegotiate the 2010 agreement that gave lecturers in the Colleges of Education the current salary structure even though the agreement should have been renegotiated after three years.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported the commencement of the payment of peculiar allowances to civil servants under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure.