The Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has called on all public primary and secondary school teachers in the state to continue observing the strike declared by the union.
Teachers have been on strike since the resumption of the new academic session to protest unpaid arrears of salaries and other unfulfilled obligations of the government.It was gathered that the NUT had an emergency congress on Monday and resolved that the industrial action should continue.
The body called on the teachers to disregard the directive given by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) that the teachers should resume work.
The state Chairman of the NUT, Mr. Kalama Tonpre, alleged that the ASUSS might have been compromised and called on the teachers to stay at home until the NUT would call off the strike.
Kalama also called on members of the public to disregard the allegation by the state’s Commissioner for Information that the union had been politicised.
He, however, said the commissioner’s position was his personal opinion which did not represent the standpoint of the state government.
But the state government, yesterday, assured the teachers of prompt payment of their salaries and allowances and appealed to them to call off their strike.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Markson Fefegha, gave the assurance during a one day workshop on the preparation of monthly payment vouchers and nominal rolls held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall,Yenagoa.
Fefegha said the preparation of vouchers in line with the present administration’s policy on transparency to stop the sharp practices perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements in the system.
He said the seminar would assist in addressing the issue of voucher preparation to ease the payment process adding that the Governor Seriake Dickson-led government was passionate about the teaching profession.
He said: “I am sure that most of you have received the two halves and we are working assiduously so that by next week you would receive your other month salary so that you would not only be at par but will be ahead of other civil servants in the state”.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, appreciated the principals for their cooperation and urged them to prepare an all-inclusive payroll.
He scored the government high in educational transformation and urged to safeguard the infrastructure built by the government.
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