By Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH—ASSOC-IATION of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, Delta State chapter, has described the industrial action embarked upon by the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, as ill- advised, urging the striking teachers to resume duties to avoid disruption in the academic calendar of the state.
The state chapter of ALGON, in a statement by its Chairman, Sir Ithiako Ikpokpo, said: “It is common knowledge that the present state of the nation’s economy has adversely affected the monthly allocation and other revenues of the local governments. It is important to note that primary school teachers and staff of the Local Government are beneficiaries of the statutory allocations of the local government.
“Whereas, primary school teachers, in the midst of the meagre allocation have consistently had their salaries deducted at source, local government staff have on the other hand, been faced with several months of non-payment of their salaries, not minding the fact that local government staff go to the same market and attend to same educational and health needs like their primary school counterparts.
“It is in the light of this obvious imbalance and the unimaginable hardship confronting staff of the local government, that ALGON, in consultation with the Joint Account Allocation Committee, JAAC, and other important stakeholders agreed on a pro-rata payment of salary for both primary school teachers and local government staff.
“It is therefore, incorrect for the state wing Executive Council of NUT to accuse JAAC of reducing teachers’ salaries to 81 per cent as stated in its communique of March 2, 2017.
“For the records, the pro- rata salary arrangement is a proportional payment of salaries across board. As the allocation of the local government continues to increase, issues of prompt and full payment of salaries would be given due and proper attention.”