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Enugu teachers threaten strike over minimum wage

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Primary school teachers in Enugu State yesterday threatened to go on strike from Friday over non-payment of the N30,000 new minimum wage.

Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers in the state, Comrade Theophilus Nweke-Odo, alleged discrimination in implementation of the new minimum wage, accusing the state government of shunning primary school teachers as they have not been paid for about eight months.

“From history it has never happened. Even from the old East Central State, down to the old Anambra State, there has never been a time some workers were paid a certain amount as minimum wage and others left out. It is highly unfortunate and our primary school teachers are not happy about it. Normally in the state, they don’t pay salary arrears; this is why we are losing confidence in whatever arrangement they have been making in this regard,” Nweke-Odo said.

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The chairman said months of negotiations with the state government to pay the teachers had not yielded any positive result, noting that the 21-day ultimatum given to the state government on the issue had expired.

“We have served a seven-day ultimatum starting from October 2 and it will expire on October 9. We went into negotiations and they said they wanted to verify the number of teachers they have, they have finished with that and now they said they want to go into a technical committee. From all indications, the government is not willing to pay primary school teachers the minimum wage,” he said.

Nweke-Odo said that the teachers would not return to classrooms until they were paid.

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