Taraba teachers may down tools over unpaid salaries
Plans to re-open all schools in the country may turned out a mirage in Taraba State, as primary school teachers down tools over salary issues.
Apart from defaulting in payment of the teachers’ monthly salaries, the government was also accused of failure to implement the N18,000 minimum wage approved many years ago.
The teachers, who said they were not even sure if the current minimum wage of N30,000 would be actualised in the state, urged the state government to tread all relevant paths to pay their salaries.
Some of the teachers told The Guardian that if relevant measures were not put in place to address their plight, the state would soon begin to witness drain of teachers.
The state chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Peter Julius, said life had become unbearable for them, denying most of them basic meals.
He said: “When we came on board, there were issues of salary; there were salaries that had not been paid to us, but the union is still in talking terms with the government, agitating and soliciting for our salaries. This is not what we should be doing because it is our right to be paid our salaries; it is not a privilege.”
According to him, primary school teachers have not for once been paid minimum wage of N18,000 despite their massive contribution to the growth of the state.
“Our major yearning now is our arrears because, as I am speaking with you, our May salaries have not been paid to us. That is why we are calling on the state government, through our board chairman, to pay us our emoluments because the children we are teaching are the children of members of the society,” he added.
But chairman of the Taraba State Primary Education Board (TSUBEB), Yakubu Agbaizo, urged the teachers to exercise patience, as the governor had fashioned out plans to pay the Rural Teachers Allowances (RTA).
“The two months arrears being owed to teachers was inherited,” he said.
Reassuring them of the state government’s commitment to the welfare of teachers and the education sector at large, he assured that government would soon put smiles on their faces.
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