By Samuel Oyadongha,Yenagoa
In a bid to stave off the proposed strike by members of the Nigerian Union Teachers (NUT) in Bayelsa State, the government yesterday met with representatives of the union.

The union had, in a communiqué issued at the end of its state wing executive council meeting held on 15 December 2009, given the state government an ultimatum up till the end of the month to meet up some demands bordering on members’ welfare.

Some of the major issues contained in the communiqué include the payment of 15 per cent salary arrears owed teachers, payment of 2007 promotion arrears and the implementation of 2008 teachers’ promotion with letters, including appropriate financial benefits and effective dates.

Others were the non-implementation of 2009 promotion result of secondary school teachers,  perceived imposition of NUT representatives, both in the SUBEB and Local Government Education Authorities and payment of principals who borrowed monies to provide science equipment for the 2008/2009 WASC Examination, amongst others.

But at an enlarged meeting held in Yenagoa with the NUT, her affiliate unions, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) and the Conference of Primary Schools Heads of Nigeria (COPSHON), Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Gideon Ekeuwei, commended the leadership of the teachers for their show of maturity in handling their grievances with the state government.

Ekeuwei noted that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was the best form of settling dispute, pointing out that it was quite commendable that the NUT adopted the ADR approach for its members’ grievances to be addressed.

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