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UNPAID SALARIES:500 teachers protest, block C-Rivers gov’s office

Occupy governor’s office with mats, wrappers
Allege their names removed from payroll
We’re doing an audit, they’re not sacked — CRSG

By Ike Uchechukwu

Rivers
Teachers

CALABAR—Again, no fewer than 500 science teachers in Cross River State, yesterday, blocked the state Governor’s Office with mats, wrappers in protest over the alleged removal of their names from the payroll of the state.

They also raised the alarm over non-payment of their salaries for the months September and October, adding that they have turned to beggars and doing odd jobs in a bid to survive.

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It will be recalled that the teachers had on November 5,  blocked the gate to the Governor’s Office, denying workers and visitors entry and exit from the office.

Speaking with Vanguard, spokesperson of the teachers, Mr Kenneth Bisong said that they (teachers) don’t understand the rationale behind the Ben Ayade-led administration’s decision to stop paying them and the removal of their names from the payroll.

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“We are among the best brains as far as science teaching is concerned in Cross River State. Our recruitment in 2015 was done by Educom, an Indian firm with a proven track record of standard and excellence.

“Initially, we didn’t know that something has happened until our colleagues stared getting paid and our people were not. We went to relevant offices to find out what happened. We discovered that our names had been removed from the payroll by the state government.

“Our names were removed from the payroll in September, we started work since 2015, but we were paroled in January 2016. We are about 500 teachers affected and it could be more.

“Government didn’t follow the service rules, we don’t know what the government wants to achieve by removing our names  from the payroll  and treating us unjustly.

“We are the live-wire of secondary schools, we are the soul of our younger ones, tomorrow’s leaders. Does the government intend to engage quacks? All we want is the payment of our September and October salary arrears.”

 

No one was sacked—Govt

When contacted, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Ayade, Mr Christian Ita said it was just an audit by government as no one had been sacked.

“Nobody has been sacked, it is just an audit. A lot of people who joined the civil service in 2015 did so through the back door. There is no cause for alarm, no one has been sacked.

“The governor is doing a cleansing of the state payroll in other to delete ghost workers.  Nobody has sacked them. Government has realised that because approval was given for employment in some areas, the people in charge resorted to over employment.

“In some cases, over 200 persons were approved for employment, the people saddled with the responsibility recruited 700 staff. So, nobody has been sacked.

“Those whose employment are genuine have been given letters for re-validation of their employment. This means that those that were genuinely employed are to be restored back to the payroll,” Ita said.

 

Vanguard

 

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