By Ozioruva Aliu
PRIMARY School teachers under the aegis Nigerian Union of Teachers and the Edo state government are at loggerheads over alleged nonpayment of allowances and alleged highhandedness of the leadership of the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) which has led to the NUT issuing a 21-day ultimatum to the state government to fulfill all its outstanding entitlements and improve its condition of services.
The union in a 10 -points communique issued at the end of its enlarged meeting in Benin City said the ultimatum takes effect from Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
The communique was signed by Pius Okhueliegbe, state, chairman, Moni Mike Itua, Assistant Secretary-General, and three others respectively.
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According to him, SWEC- in-session (State Wing Executive Council) deliberated on issues of education, teachers welfare, conditions of service, entitlements, and disciplinary matters in Edo State as well as the actions and inactions of the state government and some of its managers of education.
“During the painstaking deliberations, SWEC- in- session noted with utmost dismay, the seeming non-challant attitude of Edo state government to genuinely address the union’s age long demands and appeals of the union on matters that are of rights.
“Specifically, it was very glaring that the demands and appeals made, both diplomatically and through collective bargaining processes in the past by the union were still not attended to by the government.
“The SWEC- in- session also carried out an appraisal of the high handedness and reckless use of official powers on primary school heads and teachers by Edo SUBEB and its officials in the state vis-a-vis the happening in Esan North-East local government area between the Acting Education Secretary of the local government and members of the union”, he said.
He listed some of the demands to include the payment of 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears of teachers in Oredo, Orhionnwon, and Uhunmwode local governments, full implementation of the 30 percent Special Allowance for teachers in schools for challenged children, and payment of all arrears.
A senior official of SUBEB who craved anonymity said the union leaders were not addressing the issues correctly.
He said: “They are not saying the truth, Governor Obaseki has been doing his best for the teachers in the state. Today teachers come for training and they are given travel allowances depending on their travel distance to Benin City. We have had situations when teachers are returning they take loans to help processed their gratuities and pensions, the case in Esan North East is a case of a headteacher in charge of over 900 pupils but could not operate a smartphone and she was deployed to the classroom but she has refused to handover for over two weeks”
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