Teachers plying their trade in both public primary and secondary schools in oil-rich Delta State have commenced an indefinite strike over pending salaries and entitlements.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the umbrella body of the teachers, which made the announcement on Thursday, grounded activities in all public primary and secondary schools in the state.
Chairman of NUT in the state, Comrade Jonathan Jemirieyigbe, accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of insensitivity and indifference to the plight and welfare of its members in the state.
Jemirieyigbe, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, said the strike would be indefinite pending when government would address the issue and pay up the backlog of their entitlements and salaries.
“We are on indefinite strike commencing from today (Thursday).
Our Primary school teachers’ salaries from December, January and February have not been paid till date”.
We also have the issue of non-implementation of promotion released for Primary and Secondary schools since October 2016.
“Others include non-implementation of JAC’s decision to pay primary school teachers, non-payment of minimum wage for several years as well as illegal deductions of teachers’ salaries on the excuse of infotech biometric data report, among others,” he narrated.
Reacting to the industrial action, the Delta State Commissioner for Secondary and Basic Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, said that the government was already in talk with the union.
The state government, he reiterated, has made concerted efforts to address the issues, but blamed the dwindling Federal Allocation to the state as the reason the government has not been able to meet some of its obligations.
He added that he had already scheduled a meeting between NUT and the Head of Service to tackle the issues.
It will be recalled that an earlier meeting was rebuffed by the unionists on Wednesday, at the instance of the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, several pupils from various primary and secondary schools in Warri and environs were seen returning home or milling around Warri-Sapele road even as of 5:00p.m on Thursday, as they could not make entry into their schools’ premises.