By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN— THE Edo State Government, yesterday, ordered striking members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the state to go back to work by Friday or be sacked.
The government also told the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which had threatened sympathy strike if NUT demands were not met, that when government signed the agreement on the implementation of the new minimum wage, parties agreed that “any sector that may have issues with the implementation of the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustment there from, should make a case for the consideration of government.”
It will be recalled that teachers in the state had downed tools last week after they accused the state government of not including them in the agreement reached with the state NLC on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan, in a statement, described the strike action embarked upon by the teachers as illegal since it failed to “honour government’s invitation to make case for themselves.”
The strike had paralysed academic activities in all public schools for one week.
Omorotionmwan said: “The NUT had resorted to smear tactics, mudslinging, cheap blackmail and other acts which are reminiscent of desperation on the part of the NUT leadership.
“No work no pay policy shall be applied to the striking teachers in the state with effect from July 19, 2011 when they criminally absconded from their duty posts. The striking teachers in the state have till July 29, 2011 to return to their duty posts or risk losing their jobs.
“Any duty post not manned at the expiration of this three days deadline shall be declared vacant. The Edo State Government will not hesitate to advertise such vacancies and take immediate steps to fill same.”