Primary and secondary school teachers in Abia state on Monday embarked on indefinite strike owning to backlog of salary owed.
Some teachers of the senior secondary school who spoke to candidreporters.com on anonymity revealed that a total of 13months salary are been owed and if January salary be added, it will become 14months which accumulated from 2019 till date.
When the teacher was asked about if they considered the appeal by the state government, he said: “we didn’t go to school because of the directives from National Union of teachers(NUT) headquarters.
“Even if the honourable commissioner of information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu asked us to resume, we won’t unless Kizito Kalu, the Abia state chairman of NUT comes up with a press release that will be made known to the National headquarters of the NUT, but if Kizito does otherwise with the state government, we will be abandoned by the National body.” He added.
Recall that the NUT National leadership in a letter dated December 2nd, 2020, gave the Abia State Government 21 days to clear the salary arrears of her members, among other demands, or risk indefinite closure of schools through strike.
In a release signed by the state Chairman, Kizito Kalu, and the Secretary, Mrs Nnenna Okonkwo, the union said its resolve to embark on strike was because “the Abia State Government has not taken any tangible step aimed at meeting our demands.”
The commissioner for information, in an interactive program on Flo-Fm 94.9 however argued that both primary, junior and senior secondary school are not being owed same number of months.
His words: “Contrary to the noise we hear, Primary school teachers, junior secondary school teachers have been paid up to November 2020 meaning they are being owed one month outstanding.”
During the interview, when asked how many months are senior secondary school teachers being owed, Chief Okiyi said I cannot confirm now but I know that it is couple of months, like about nine months but I can’t confirm the exact number of months.”
During an interviews conducted by candidreoorters.com, teachers of the senior secondary school in Abia state confirmed that they are being owed 13months salary as at December 2020. Schools also visited were also under lock and key.
The Abia State Commissioner for information however appealed to the teacher to go back to classrooms citing that they have genuine case. He however expressed readiness on the part of the government to clear the outstanding salaries but also cited the dwindling economy challenge in the country as a setback.