THE national leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to use the occasion of the May Day (Workers’ Day celebration) to intervene and end the lingering strike by the polytechnics and Colleges of Education lecturers.
NUT equally condemned Tuesday’s attack by the police on members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) during a legitimate protest to drive home their demands.
The union, in a statement jointly signed by its national president, Michael Alogba Olukoya and Secretary General, Ikpe Obong, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, said the 10-month old strike embarked upon by ASUP and the five-month closure of Colleges of Education due to strike embarked upon by COEASU portended great danger to the academic fortunes of the Nigerian nation.
NUT president also frowned on the continued closure of primary schools in Benue State as a result of strike embarked upon by teachers in the state over refusal of the state government to pay them the N18, 000 minimum wage approved for other workers in the state.
Olukoya, said: “We call on our dear president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to as a matter of urgency, intervene in the matter for academic activities to be restored in these institutions as well as the protracted closure of primary schools in Benue State.
“We wish to express strong reservations to the feeble and undesirable commitment made by the Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam, that his salary and that of all political officers has been reduced by 25 per cent to make marginal increase to salaries of primary school teachers.
“We view this unsustainable commitment by the governor as self seeking, which is aimed at scoring cheap political point without addressing the major issue. We call on the general public to disregard such political grandstanding.
“The demand of Nigeria Union of Teachers is the full implementation of the national minimum wage as applicable to all public servants in Benue State without exception to primary school teachers in the interest of justice and fairness.”
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