Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to embark on strike if the state government fails to address the issues of payment of outstanding welfare allowances and conditions of service.
The teachers, in a letter addressed to the state Governor Godwin Obaseki, dated November 23, 2020, and made available to journalists in Benin-city, said failure by the state government to fulfill their pending demands may likely result to industrial disharmony in the education sector.
The letter, which was signed by the state Chairman and Secretary of the union, Pius Okhueleigbe and Mike Moni Modesty Itua respectively, noted that pending issues of teachers’ welfare and condition of service discussed and decided with Obaseki on July 17, 2020, were yet to be addressed by the state government.
The letter further disclosed, however, that the leadership of the union is seeking an audience with the state governor on December 3 and 4, 2020.
It added that the meeting would go a long way in providing lasting solutions to the issues raised as well as avert the looming industrial action.
They listed the 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, and the non- implementation of the 2016 to 2018 promotion of primary school teachers in payrolls since August 2020.
The NUT explained that the teachers were also allegedly denied their arrears as per promotion while those omitted from the exercise have not been considered.
Other demands are the non-release of 2019 teachers promotions by SUBEB for four months after the state governor’s approval-”the non-payment of Edo-BEST training stipends of 2018 and 2019 to about two thousand 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 the delay in the payment of teachers monthly salaries.”
Meanwhile, the Esan North-East local Government Area chapter of the union has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the acting Education Secretary, Local Government Education Authority, Mrs. Mary Oseghale, to reverse the deployment and subsequent demotion of one Ikiakhele Agatha, the head teacher of Efandion Primary School in the locality.
A petition signed by the NUT Chairman of the local government area, Oriere Duba; Secretary, Eyonse Martins, and two others was addressed to the state executive of the union and state chairman of Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Benin-city at the weekend.
The union said teachers in the locality would not fail to embark on strike if the acting education secretary of the local government education authority fails to reverse the deployment and demolition of the head teacher.