By Adibe Emenyonu
Primary school teachers in Edo State will next Monday embark on an indefinite strike to press home their demands from the state government.
The move to commence the industrial action was contained in a communique issued by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) enlarged State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) on January 12, 2021, in Benin-city.
The union had on December 8 and December 29, 2020, issued 21-day and 14-day ultimatum respectively to the state government to meet and fulfill all its financial and other entitlements.
Some of the demands of the union include the payment of the 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears of teachers in Oredo, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas.
Others are reinforcement and guarantee on the payment of primary school teachers monthly salaries on or before the 27th of every month as already directed by the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki; correct the implementation of the 30 percent Special Allowance for Teachers in schools for challenged children and all arrears paid among others.
The communique signed by the state Chairman, Pius Okhueleigbe; the Assistant Secretary General, Moni Mike Modesty-Itua, and three others, said the ordered to embark on an indefinite strike was as a result of the failure of the state government to meet its 10-points long-age demands.
It noted that the indefinite strike order was sequel to the expiration of the 21-day and 14-day ultimatum respectively, earlier issued to the state government.
According to the communique, “All public primary school heads and teachers in the 18 local government areas of Edo State should unfailingly embark on an indefinite strike from 12:00 noon of January 18, 2012, and ensure that all teaching and learning tools in their possessions are completely put in ‘off-mode’.”
While commending the state House of Assembly Committee on Education, Controller of Labour, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for their interventionist attempts, it expressed dismay over the glaring and persistent non-chalant attitude of the state government by not initiating any attempt to meet with the union during the period of the ultimatums to dialogue on the issues.
The union urged all parents to keep their children and wards away from schools throughout the period of indefinite strike.
It also advised school heads and parents to disregard any form of propaganda, blackmail, announcements, pronouncements and intimidation against the “lawful decisions” of the union for the period of the strike from any quarter.
The union, however, called on all lovers of education, well-meaning citizens and institutions in the state to prevail on the state government to meet the demands of the union.