Education

July 24, 2023

Benue teachers threaten strike over illegal deductions, unpaid allowances, others

NAAT calls off strike for 3 months
By Peter Duru

The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Benue State Wing, has given the State Government two days to pay all the arrears of the Consolidated Enhanced Allowances allegedly removed from their Payment Vouchers of May and June 2023 among others, or face a state-wide protest and eventual industrial action.

The NUT issued the ultimatum in a communique signed by its State Chairman, Comrade Terna Akuma and the State acting Secretary, Comrade Jeremiah Ochonu, after its emergency State Wing Executive Council, SWEC, meeting held Monday in Makurdi.

The aggrieved teachers in the communique
decried among others “the payment of May and June 2023 salaries done with massive demotion of all Teachers on Salary Grade levels which Teachers have been enjoying since their last promotion of 2021 and Implementation in February, 2022. The Removal of Consolidated Enhanced Allowances (Hazard, Inducement, Learned soclety and Exams) for all professional Teachers totaling 27 percent for all Grade levels 7-16 which was approved by Nigeria Governors’ Forum In 2008 and implemented here In Benue State In January, 2010.

“SWEC-in-Session also frowned at the delay in the release of the circular on tenure elongation of Primary School Teachers (40 years of service and 60 years of chronological age) as spelt by the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers In Nigeria, Act 2022 through a circular letter which was domesticated, assented and gazetted by the Benue State Government.

“SWEC-In-Session therefore gives the Benue State Government 48 hours, beginning from Tuesday July 25 to Wednesday 26 July, 2023 to as a matter of urgency do the following in the interest of peace and industrial harmony:

“Pay all the arrears of consolidated enhanced allowances removed on the May and June 2023 Payment Vouchers within the stipulated time. Let all the promotion of Teachors be restored with arrears paid within the time given.

“Let the Benue State Government also come out clearly with its position on elongation of service and chronological years for Teachers as contained In the Marmonized Ratirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria, Act 2022 through a circular letter.

“Let the Government also release the names of all those removed from the Payment Vouchers of May and June, 2023 for clarity.

“SWEC-In-Session reiterates her stand that should the Benue State Government fail to meet up with the aforementioned demands of the NUT within the stipulated time all the Primary School Teachers in the State will embark on a State-wide peaceful protest across the 23 Local Government areas and the State Headquarters Makurdi.

“Should the Benue State Government fail to meet our demands even after the protest, teachers shall be left with no other option than to proceed on an indefinite industrial action until all our aforementioned demands are fully met.”