Michael Onwuka, Enugu
Public primary school teachers in Enugu State on Wednesday began an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage in the primary school sub-sector.
Recall that the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and its Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) counterpart had on June 21 issued the state and local governments seven days ultimatum to implement the new minimum wage.
The two unions threatened a total shutdown of the local government system and primary school sub-sector in Enugu State if the government failed to show commitment at the expiration of the ultimatum.
The NUT Chairman in the state, Chief Theophilus Odo, said that the indefinite strike had begun.
Odo said that the strike would not be suspended until the state government began the implementation of the new wage in the primary school sub-sector.
Also, the NULGE President in the state, Mr Kenneth Ugwueze, said that local government workers would join the strike by Thursday, July 28.
Recall that the state government had in February 2020 started the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state.
However, only workers in the core ministries of the state government and secondary school teachers were captured while others in Agencies and Departments and local government councils were left out.
Ikengaonline reports that this is the second time in two months public primary school teachers in the state are going on strike.
On May 9, 2022, the teachers embarked on an indefinite strike which lasted for one month to press home their demand for the new wage and its consequential adjustments.
However, the leadership of the NUT in a letter with reference no. NUT/ENS/GH/04/573 dated June 8, 2022, and signed by Odo, suspended the strike for just one month.
The NUT chairman had said that the one month timeline was to enable the state governor give a befitting consideration to the minimum wage saga for primary school teachers.
However, Odo said that it was sad that after six weeks of the suspension of the strike, there were no commitments by the local government chairmen to pay the new wage.
Odo said that the NUT had done well to give the government over one month window to implement the new wage for workers in the two sectors.
“After a month and two weeks, nothing positive has emerged from government towards addressing the matter.
“Instead, the implementation is tactfully being delayed with unfulfilled promises that the issue would soon be over,” Odo said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze was not successful as he neither answered his call nor responded to a text message sent to him.