From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The face off between the Edo State government and primary school teachers over the latter’s planned strike scheduled to commence on Monday, has taken a new dimension as the government, yesterday, threatened to invoke the “no work no pay” policy.
Recall that the primary schoolteachers through their body, National Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the State Government, demanding that their entitlements should be paid before resumption of schools which had remained unresolved.
Consequently, the NUT on Wednesday, issued directives to all primary school teachers in the state to shun the February 1, 2021, resumption date proposed by the state government.
The union said the state government has not “demonstrated any reasonable commitment to resolve the issues presented to it and unanimously agreed that dialogue/negotiation between it and the state government should continue while the strike persists”.
But the state government in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Osarodion Ogie, directed all primary school teachers to resume on February 1, threatening that failure by the teachers to comply, government would invoke the “no work no pay” policy.
“This is to inform all parents, teachers and the general public that all public primary schools in Edo State shall resume full activities on Monday 1st February 2021.
“Parents are expected to make their children and wards ready for resumption on this date. Government wishes to reemphasize that all public-school teachers and head teachers are required to be present in their various schools. Failure to resume work would be considered forfeiture of salary as the Edo State Government has activated the No Work, No Pay policy.
“Head Teachers and Teachers who are desirous of staying away from work in support of the sponsored strike action by certain elements of the Edo State Branch of the National Union of Teachers, are required to hand over all school property in their custody to their respective Education Secretaries.
“The Board is collaborating with the relevant security agencies to ensure the protection of all public schools and any willful destruction of government property will be met with criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law”, the government threatened.