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Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Teachers’ knock Gov. Obaseki over poor conditions of service

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By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

Public schools teachers’ have passed no confidence vote on Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki over poor condition of service.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State Chapter on Tuesday issued a three-week notice to the state government to address the concerns or brace for industrial action.
The teachers’ demands were contained in a communique by Mr Fidelis Oigbochie and Moni Mike Itua, Chairman and Secretary of NUT as well as the executive leadership of its affiliate members.
The group arrived at the decision after its enlarged state executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Benin City.
In the statement, the union urged the State government to recruit teachers through the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and pay allowances to EDO BEST teachers that participated in the 2018 and 2019 training programmes.
It lamented that after the training programmes both serving and now retired primary school teachers that participated in the training were yet to be paid their entitlements despite the budgetary provisions made for it by the government.
The union also decried the nonpayment of Primary School Teachers in Oredo and Uhunmwode Local Governments of their 2013, 2014 and 2015 promotion arrears by SUBEB.
Other demand of the teachers are the delay in the release of N60 million subvention for 2018/2019, third term to schools as approved by the state government.
It also condemned, the alleged plan by the authorities of SUBEB to introduce competency test as a measure to appoint head of school in the state in contravention of an existing legal suit at the National Industrial Court, Enugu.
The union noted that any form of competency test being contemplated by SUBEB for the recruitment of school heads is unacceptable to it, null and void.
“State Working Executive Council in session hereby calls on all its members to braze up and be prepared for further action (s) as may be deemed necessary and directed by the union should the relevant government board and agents refuse to positively address the issues raised in this communiqué not later than 5th September, 2019.
“ School Heads and Acting School Heads are advised to continue to carry out their lawful assignments and must not handover to anybody as illegally directed by the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).”
According to the communiqué, “That all pending EDO BEST stipends and 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears be paid to all due beneficiaries not later than 5th September, 2019”, he said.
While, lamenting the shortage of teaching personnel due to the recent retirement exercise, they however called for immediate recruitment of teaching staff in the state public primary schools.
It however, accused SUBEB of being dictatorial and a sole administrator. “The leadership of Edo BEST has assumed the dimension of dictatorship and a sole administrator veiled with brazen intellectual and managerial arrogance, gross insensitivity to the plight of teachers and now uses intimidation as a weapon to coerce teachers to do its biddings”, he added.

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