Bayelsa Teachers Threaten to go on Strike Over Minimum ; Gives Two-week Ultimatum

By Nurat Uthman

Teachers in Bayelsa State under the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, have threatened to commence indefinite strike in public primary and secondary schools over the N30,000 minimum wage and promotion arrears.

The teachers said that it was regrettable that in spite of Bayelsa’s position amongst the top four states with highest earnings from the federation, welfare of teachers was neglected.

Schools in Bayelsa state had vacated on August 29 due to expected flood and slated to resume on November 13.

The union, it was gathered took the decision at an executive meeting on Wednesday, October 12, after an earlier three day warning strike failed to compel the Bayelsa government to act.

The teachers gave a 14 day ultimatum to the state government and local government councils in Bayelsa to address the plights of secondary and primary school teachers across the state or face industrial action.

These, according to the NUT included; inability of both state and local governments to implement the N30,000 naira minimum wage and promotion of primary school teachers in the state.

The union said teachers are confronted with untold hardship as a result of the nonpayment of promotion arrears to both primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

NUT expressed dissatisfaction with government’s continuous negligence of the plights of teachers who play critical role in the state, despite engaging them at different fora as all proved abortive.

The union said the attitude of government has brought nothing but humiliation and frustration to primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

It said the 14-day ultimatum takes effect from, Oct. 13 as failure to address the issues within the limit of the ultimatum would force teachers in the state to go on strike.

The strike notice was ratified by the constituent eight Local Government Areas branches of NUT in Bayelsa.

Signatories to the communiqué after the meeting include; Ikiba Izibenidie, Chairman NUT Yenagoa Branch, Ekereke Aruaman ,Chairman NUT Ogbia, Tarabina Ebikibina ,Chairman NUT Kolokuma/Opukima, Amakiri Idibiye , Chairman NUT Nembe.

Others are: Koko Michael, Chairman NUT Ekeremor, Dokubo Innocent , Chairman NUT Brass, Akadah Emomotimi, Chairman NUT Sagbama, Sudouwei Solomon, Chairman NUT Southern Ijaw.

Meanwhile, Dr Gentle Emelah, Bayelsa Commissioner, declined comments when contacted as he did not respond to telephone calls and text messages requesting for reaction to the development.

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