Bayelsa Teachers Issue Ultimatum Before Strike Over Minimum Wage

Education

Teachers in Bayelsa have given the state government a 14-day ultimatum to implement minimum wage and pay arrears on salaries.

The Nigerian Union of Teachers in Bayelsa says it will have no other option than to go on strike after the ultimatum expires.

The union has been in series of meeting with state and local government representatives last year over protracted issues of non-payment and implementation of N30,000 minimum wage, promotions and salary arrears owed primary school teachers.

In a communique, they said the government had disregarded the series of negotiations and resolutions reached to address the demands before December 2020.

The ultimatum takes effect on Tuesday, NUT Bayelsa said in a communique signed by its chairman Kalaama Tonpre and secretary Johnson Hector.

“Should the problems mentioned above remain unresolved till the expiration of the fourteen days ultimatum, primary school teachers in the state would have no other option than to down tools,” it said.

“Without prejudice to the above resolution, the State Wing of the NUT is ever committed to work with the prosperity government to guarantee an enhance public school system through better conditions of service and quality education delivery but not until the teachers perish.”

Reacting, the State Commissioner of Education, Gentle Emelah said despite the fact that primary school teachers is the responsibility of the local government councils, the state government was working to meet the agreement reached with the NUT, and appealed to the Union to soft pedal on its ultimatum.

“I am aware, we had a meeting with them late last year and we agreed on certain terms and I think government is working on those terms as they were and one of those things is the issue of their promotion,” he said.

“I am equally aware that concerning the primary school which is worst hit, there was an agreement we reached where monies are being saved by local government councils because primary school teachers are being paid by the local government, it is not the responsibility of the state government but the state government is augmenting and assisting them to see that the issue is resolved and if government is doing its own bits to make sure that the agreement we reached is fulfilled, I think they should soft pedal and I believe that they will soft pedal because all the things we agreed in that meeting we are doing it.”

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