Don’t Penalise Teachers Over Strike-NUT

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The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has frowned at Edo State Government’s decision to penalise primary school teachers for going on strike over Teachers’ Salary Structure  (TSS) implementation.

The National President, NUT, Mr Michael Alogba-Olukoya in a statement that the union did not expect the action from Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s administration.

TSS is 27.5 per cent increase in teachers’ salaries. He said the Governors’ Forum entered into an agreement with the NUT in 2008 to implement it as from January, 2009.

Oshiomhole had on June 19, approved full implementation of TSS only for secondary school teachers who did not embark on strike recently while the government was negotiating with teachers on the implementation.

He gave the approval after a closed door meeting with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools  in Benin.

He commended the teachers for refusing to down tools and said that primary school teachers would not enjoy the approval for now.

The governor said that no primary school teacher would be paid  for the period of the strike, adding that the government might halt their planned promotion.

The NUT president said that the government action was discriminatory.

“For all intents and purposes, what happened in Edo was unexpected from a governor who had championed strikes as a labour leader.

“The union will send a high powered delegation  to the executive governor  to handle the issue in line with  labour laws, “ Alogba-Olukoya said.

He also said that the calling off of teachers’ strike in Ogun  was unacceptable to the NUT, alleging that the strike was not called off by the executives of the state chapter of the union.

He disclosed that the Ekiti state government appealed to pay its teachers 15 per cent because of economic constraints.

The labour leader said that the appeal was considered by the NUT.

“Ekiti Government pleaded that it cannot afford more than 15 per cent at present, but may eventually complete it.”

He said that the governments of Sokoto and Taraba states had accepted to fully implement the TSS, and described the development as an encouragement to the NUT.

He urged defaulting states to implement the TSS.

He said, “We are appealing to all the governors of the affected states to keep faith with this agreement as it deals with the welfare of teachers,” he said.