Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) members, yesterday, said they may be forced to go on strike if the government fails to yield to their demands of addressing their outstanding welfare and conditions of service.
The teachers, in a letter to Governor Godwin Obaseki, dated November 23, 2020 in Benin, said failure by the state government to fulfil their pending demands may likely result to industrial disharmony in the educational sector. The letter was signed by the union state Chairman and Secretary, Pius Okhueleigbe and Mike Modesty-Itua respectively.
Modesty-Itua said pending issues of teachers’ welfare and condition of service discussed and decided with Governor Obaseki on July 17 are yet to be addressed by the government.
The NUT secretary, who, however, said the leadership of the union is seeking an audience with the state governor on December 3 or 4, added that the meeting will go a long way in providing lasting solutions to the issues raised as well as avert the looming industrial action.
He listed seven-point demands which the state government was yet to address to include non-payment and incomplete payment of 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears of primary school teachers in Oredo, Orhionmwon and Uhunwonde local government areas.
Also demanded by the teachers are non-implementation of 2016 to 2018 promotion of primary school teachers in payrolls since August 2020.
He said the teachers were also denied of their arrears as per promotion while those omitted from the exercise have not been considered.
Others are non-release of 2019 teachers’ promotions by SUBEB for four months after the state governor’s approval.
“Non-payment of Edo-BEST Training stipends of 2018 and 2019 to about 2,000 teachers who participated in the programme.
“Non-remittance of the lawfully deducted schools monthly subvention from the account of local government councils to school heads from April 2020 till date and delay in the payment of teachers’ monthly salaries,” he said.
Similarly, the Esan North East Local Government chapter of the union has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the acting Education Secretary, Local Government Education Authority, Oseghale Mary, to reverse the deployment and subsequent demotion of one Ikiakhele Agatha, head teacher of Efandion Primary School in the locality.