Bayelsa Teachers Call-Off Strike

bayelsa-teachers-call-off-strike


Teachers in government owned primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa State, have resumed for the 2016/2017 academic session following directives from the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT.

The teachers had refused to return to classes after the long vacation in August, citing the failure of the state government to pay their eight-month salary arrears.

At a meeting between the teachers’ association and the state government earlier in May, it was agreed that the government would pay at least half of the salary arrears owed the teachers, pending when the state’s finances would improve, but government failed to keep its own side of the bargain.

But when reporters visited various schools on Monday, pupils and students expressed happiness that the strike, which had kept them at home for weeks after the new session started in first week of September, was finally over.

Esther Ebi, a JSS 2 student of St Jude’s Secondary School Yenagoa, said: “I am happy to be back in school in my new class, I have seen some of my friends but not all of them and classes have not started, we are still cleaning our classrooms.”

Bayelsa State’s Commissioner for Education, Marson Fefegha, said that the strike was called off following a truce between the striking workers and the state government.

Fefegha stated that the NUT has promised to fast-track teaching in order to make up for the period that the strike lasted.

“Schools just resumed today,” she said, “and teachers need one week to settle down to work but NUT has assured the government that they will meet up.”

The commissioner also said that a team of inspectors from the Ministry of Education would be deployed to monitor the compliance of teachers.

He warned that anyone who refuses to resume would be declared a “ghost worker’’ and replaced immediately.

The commissioner asked all Headmasters and Principals to ensure strict compliance and cooperate with the inspectors.






     

     

    Chairman of Bayelsa chapter of the NUT, Kalaama Toinpre, said that the teachers have returned to the classrooms and were ready to teach.

    He said: “We have secured some agreements from the state government in writing that at the end of this month, October, two months half salary of the outstanding be cleared in addition to the two months half salary already paid.

    “Having secured the commitment of the state government to commence clearing the backlog, we shifted grounds and decided to suspend the strike and returned to work from today (Monday).

    “We at the state executive of the union are grateful for the solidarity of teachers who resisted ploys to sabotage the struggle for the welfare of teachers and to factionalise teachers in Bayelsa. We shall remain united,” Toinpre said.

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