Edo teachers threaten strike over unpaid allowances

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Teachers in the Edo State primary education sub-sector have threatened to go on strike if the state government fails to address the issues of payment of outstanding welfare allowances and conditions of service.

Under the aiegies of the state’s chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the teachers issued the threat on Sunday.

The union, in a letter dated 23rd November, 2020, and addressed to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, copies of which were made available to journalists in Benin, said failure by the state government to fulfil their pending demands might lead likely to an industrial disquiet in the primary educational sector.

The letter which was signed by the state chairman of the union, Pius Okhueleigbe, and the State Secretary, Mike Moni Modesty Itua, noted that pending issues of teachers’ welfare and condition of service discussed and decided with the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki on 17th July, 2020, were yet to be addressed by the government.

The union added that it had contacted the state government for interaction with Governor Obaseki on Thursday, 3rd December or Friday, 4th December, 2020, pointing out that the outcome of the proposed meeting would determine if the looming industrial action would be averted.

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The Edo NUT listed seven-point demand 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.

Also demanded by the teachers are non-implementation of 2016 to 2018 promotion of primary school teachers in payrolls since August 2020.

Primary school teachers, the letter explained, were also denied their arrears as per promotion while those omitted from the exercise had not been considered.

Other demands are non-release of 2019 Teachers promotions by SUBEB for four months after the state government’s approval.

“Non-payment of Edo- BEST Training stipends of 2018 and 2019 to about two thousand Teachers who participated in the program.

“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 delay in the payment of Teachers monthly salaries among others,” he added.

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, LGEA, Oseghale Mary, to reverse the deployment and subsequent demotion of one Ikiakhele Agatha, the headteacher of Efandion primary school in the locality.

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A petition signed by Oriere Duba, NUT chairman of the local government, 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.

The union said teachers in the locality would not fail to embark on strike if the Acting Education Secretary of the LGEA fail to reverse the deployment and demolition of the headteacher.

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