By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
The Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has directed all primary school teachers and school heads to embark on an indefinite strike as from next week Monday, January 18th, 2021.
The union’s directive which was contained in a communique issued at the end of its enlarged State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) on Tuesday 12th, January, 2021 in Benin City.
The communique signed by Pius Okhueleigbe, state chairman, Moni Mike Modesty Itua, assistant secretary general and three others said the ordered to embark on indefinite strike was as a result of the failure of the Edo State Government to meet its 10-points long- age demands.
It noted that the strike ordered was sequel to the expiration of the 21-day and 14-day ultimatum earlier issued to the state government.
According to the communique, “all public primary School-Heads and teachers in the eighteen local government areas of Edo State should unfailingly embark on an indefinite strike action from 12:00 am (early morning) of Monday 18th January, 2012 and ensure that all teaching and learning tools in their possessions are completely put in “off-mode”.
While commending the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) committee on education, Controller of Labour, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for their interventionist attempts, it expressed dismay over the glaring and persistent non-challant attitude of the state government by not initiating attempts at meeting with the union during the period of the ultimatums to dialogue on the issues.
It urged all parents to keep their children and wards away from schools throughout the period of the indefinite strike.
It also advised school-heads and parents to disregard any form of propaganda, blackmail, announcements, pronouncements and intimidation against the “lawful decisions” of the union for the period of the strike from any quarter.
The union, however, called on all lovers of education, well-meaning citizens and institutions in the state to prevail on the Edo state government to meet the demands of the union.
Recall that the union had on December 8th and December 29th, 2020 issued 21-day and 14-day ultimatum to the state government to meet and fulfill all its financial and other entitlements to it.
Some of the demands of the union include payment of the 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears of teachers in Oredo, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode local government areas.
Others are reinforcement and guarantee the payment of primary school teachers monthly salaries, on or before the 27th day of every months as already directed by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, correct implementation of the 30 percent Special Allowance for Teachers in schools for challenged children and all arrears paid among others.