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Teachers begin industrial action as schools reopen in Bayelsa

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By Emem Idio, Yenegoa

Teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa State failed to turn up for classes for the new academic session even as schools formally resume on Monday.

Teachers begin industrial action as schools reopen in Bayelsa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State
Our reporter who visited some public primary and secondary schools within Yenagoa the state capital reports that most of the schools remained shut while some pupils and students who were unaware of the strike action by public school teachers were seen loitering around the school premises and later went home.
Earlier, a statement by the State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, signed by the Mr Kalama Toinpre and Johnson Hector, Chairman and Secretary respectively had directed all public primary and secondary schools teachers in the state to stay away from classes till further notice over the inability of the  Bayelsa state government to address some demands of teachers in the state.
In a statement which was issued in Yenagoa, the NUT officials said the directive to embark on a strike action followed the expiration of a 21 days ultimatum to the State and local governments in the state which had expired on July 10, and another 7 days ultimatum which expired on September 12.
The statement highlighted the demands of the teachers to include: “Government inability to address the grievance of non-payment of N18,000 minimum wage arrears to both secondary and primary school teachers and non-payment of backlog of salary arrears ranging from three and seven months to primary and secondary schools teachers
“Non-implementation of promotion and annual increment of teachers of primary schools from 2013 till date. Acute shortage of teachers in primary and post-primary schools, non-provision of instructional materials since 2018 and other lingering issues confronting the state educational system.”
According to the statement, the state NUT officials further pointed out that the national body of the Union has filed trade dispute with the Bayelsa State government on September 6, with the directive that teachers in the state should not resume work until the outstanding salaries arrears are paid completely to both primary and secondary schools.

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