The Eastern Regional Working Committee of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, on Thursday, called on the Abia State Government to quickly address the issues that led to the teachers’ strike to save public education in the state from collapse.
The union stormed Abia State to solidarise with teachers in the state who had embarked on an indefinite strike about two weeks ago.
The Eastern Regional Chairman of NUT, Comrade Etim Ukpong, decried the plight of teachers in the state following months of unpaid wages.
Although he acknowledged the efforts of the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration towards addressing the issues, he demanded the clearance of the 12-month salary arrears as a condition to call off the strike.
According to him, Senior Secondary School teachers in the state are owed 12 months’ salaries, their counterparts in the Junior Secondary School are owed for 11 months, while public primary school teachers are owed for two months.
Ukpong who read from a communique he jointly signed with the Regional Secretary, Mrs.Nnenna Okonkwo, identified non-promotion of teachers for the past five years, non-payment of leave allowances for the past 10 years as some of the challenges that need to be addressed.
Other demands by the NUT include immediate remittance of teachers’ check-off dues to the union and the implementation of the current minimum wage to teachers at the basic education level.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Teachers has disowned the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, describing it as “a bunch of impostors trying to gain relevance where none exists.’
Reacting to a recent Supreme Court ruling which referred the suit by ASUSS against NUT to the Court of Appeal for retrial, Ukpong said ASUSS was a splinter group bent on misleading the public.
He said the apex court never granted ASUSS right of existence, but simply returned the matter to the Appeal court for retrial since one of the justices on the appeal panel was absent during the earlier judgment of the lower court.