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C/River College of Health Technology unions begin warning strike

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Workers unions at the of Cross River College of Health Technology embarked on a one-week warning strike on Monday to protest the continued suspension of their salary structures by the state government.

Mr Bright Ewona, Chairman of the college’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, said at a news conference in Calabar that the unions were not comfortable with the government’s action.

“Having exhausted all avenues, including the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum, we ask our members to withdraw their services for one week beginning from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29.

“Thereafter, unions would decide the next action to take according to labour demands if the government fails to restore the payment of the CONPCASS and CONTEDISS salary structures in the college,’’ he added.

He said that the suspension of the Consolidated Polytechnic Academic Salary Structure (CONPCASS) and the Consolidated Tertiary Educational Salary Structure (CONTEDISS) by the state government in November was “unwarranted’’.

He added that the salary structures were approved by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission in 2010 and had been implemented since 2011 in all polytechnics, monotechnics and Colleges of Health Technology in Nigeria.

“While other institutions of same cadre, both at the Federal and state levels were enjoying the salary structures, employees of Cross River College of Health Technology were denied the benefit for more than seven years.

“Kudos to Gov. Ben Ayade who saw the pain in our hearts and granted approval for the implementation of the structure for the college in September 2018.

“The college, in its magnanimity, forfeited the accrued arrears as part of its sacrifice and contributions to support and promote this administration.

“The sudden withdrawal of these structures from the college in November 2019 after the re-accreditation of the college and its programmes by the National Board for Technical Education and the various professional bodies is, therefore, highly unfortunate, disappointing and demotivating to the entire college community.

“The CONPCASS and CONTEDISS salary structures are the legitimate entitlements of the staff of the college as a monotechnic training people at National and Higher National Diploma levels and accredited and regulated by the National Board for Technical Education since 1994,’’ Ewona said.

The chairman said that graduates of the college had been participating in NYSC scheme since 1998.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Enyiegor, Acting National Secretary of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, called on the state government to re-instate the CONPCASS and CONTEDISS salary structures for staff of the college.

Enyiegor said that it was sad for the state government to flaunt a state institution and expect the management to operate below minimum standard. (NAN)

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