June 11, 2009

Strike: Rivers warns NUT

By George Onah
Port Harcourt—The Rivers State government has warned against any form of harassment or intimidation by officials of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) against teachers or staff  in public schools who have refused to join the ongoing strike by teachers in the state.

The government said such move by the NUT officials was not in the best interest of the students and the state and would not be condoned by the administration.

While restating the state government’s commitment to accord teachers in the state their entitlements, the government, in a statement yesterday, said teachers in the state were among the highest paid in the country and urged the NUT to reciprocate the state government’s gestures in all their dealings.

“Only a few months ago, Governor Chibuike Amaechi personally assented to an agreement with the NUT in Rivers State to implement the TSS Scale for teachers as soon as it meets its side of the bargain and up till now, the NUT is yet to meet its own side of the agreement,” said the statement.

To this end, the government said it was, therefore, embarrassing for NUT officials to circumvent the agreement by cajoling patriotic teachers in the state to join the strike.

“We want to stress that no NUT official or school has a right to deny school children access to their classrooms for learning, and government will not sit back and allow its programmes for the education sector to suffer unjustly,” the statement added.

Government then praised “classroom teachers who have demonstrated the collective will to continue to teach these children in the face of threats and intimidations, and reassured them of government’s support at all times”.