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Edo teachers threaten strike over poor service conditions

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor

Public schools in Edo state may not resume in September if the  Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) goes head with its planned strike action over what it called poor work conditions later this month.

Schools are due to resume on September 10 but the NUT  has at the weekend given the state government 21 days ultimatum to resolve all contentious issues with it or face the indefinite strike action.

The union said the ultimatum became necessary following the expiration of forty-five days of grace it allowed the state government to engage in discussions with it on the challenges put before it in a  communique issued in July.

The nine-point communique was signed by Comrade Pius Okhueleigbe and Moni Mike Modesty- Itua, State Chairman and Acting  Secretary respectively at the end of the union’s State Executive Council meeting in Benin-City.

The statement said the ultimatum takes effect from 17th August, 2018.

According to it, arising from the failure of the state government, SWEC- in-session hereby  serves a twenty-one day ultimatum on Edo State Government with effect from Friday 17th, August, 2018 to positively resolve all issues in contention with the union, failure of which public school teachers in Edo State will embark on indefinite strike action to press home their demands.

It said “at the end of the meeting,  SWEC agreed that the union has unimaginably cooperated with the state government in all positive fronts with a view to moving the education sector to the desired Eldorado, but the government has refused to act in utmost good faith in reciprocating the good gestures of teachers in the state,”

In the communique, the teachers demanded the financial implementation of the 2013 to 2015 primary school teachers promotions as approved by the state government with the arrears of last January to July inclusive as well as teachers deliberated omitted or denied the promotions by SUBEB.

It also wants the immediate implementation of the approved N25,000 minimum wage to all primary school teachers with all the arrears.

The teachers, said the N25,000 minimum wage was approved by the state government for all workers in the state in May 2016.

The teachers, also demanded the immediate provision of subvention funds to both primary and secondary schools across the state.

It added that teachers in,public schools have been using their merger salaries to,provide instructional materials like chalk, markers, diaries, registers a I g others for teaching and learning in schools since 2012.

It urged the government to meet all the demands in this month’s payrolls with all the arrears.

“That Edo State Public Primary and Secondary School heads and their teachers are tired of using their meager salaries to provide instructional materials such chalk, markers, diaries, registers and many others for teaching and learning in schools, due to the failure of government to provide subventions to schools since the years 2012 and the recent near zero supply of such items to schools.

“Therefore, government must in the next twenty-one days put up a very concrete and result oriented policy/plan to commence the release of subventions to all public primary and secondary schools in the state”, he added.

The union, decried lack of manpower personnel in the public schools, and, urged the government to commence the process of recruiting of about 9,000 and 3000 new staff to fill the vacate position in both primary and secondary schools before the commencement of the net academic session slated for September.

But the state government says it has not received any ultimatum from the teachers according to an aide to the Education Commissioner Emma Agbale, on the telephone.

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