By Tunji Adedeji
The uncertainty over payment of teacher’s salaries and arrears by the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, has thrown a good number of teachers in public schools into lamentation mode and may stop resumption of schools in the state, if information reaching Trumpeta is anything to go by.
Trumpeta learnt that Teachers in the State have vowed not to reopen schools, a decision necessitated by the fact that the state government cannot expect them to work for free when they have responsibilities to take care of.
Philip Nwanshi, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, who spoke with journalists in Owerri, recently confirmed that if every teacher does not get salaries up to date and if the union does not get its check-off dues, there is no possibility of schools reopening in Imo State.
According to him, “What we’re saying is that if every teacher does not get salaries up to date and if the union does not get its check-off dues, there is no possibility of schools reopening in Imo State.”
“The union has not been running since March and the government is deducting the check-off dues and not remitting the same to the union. And if we don’t react, our members will never have full confidence in us anymore. They’ll think we’ve compromised. ”
He said Uzodimma had in a meeting with NUT some months ago promised to clear arrears of salaries owed to teachers.
Nwanshi complained that up till the first week of September salaries of about 2000 teachers in the state had not been paid for about seven months.
He said “In Ngor Okpala LGA, no primary school teacher has received salary since March this year. In Owerri West and other LGAs also, many teachers are yet to receive their salaries.
“There is no way you can tell me that what is holding their salaries is BVN and the banks. We cannot believe that. You cannot tell me that the papers of all the teachers in Ngor Okpala are wrong.”
By Tunji Adedeji