Teachers protest over six months salary arrears in Bayelsa — Julius Osahon

By Ikenga Chronicles June 18, 2016

Teachers protest over six months salary arrears in Bayelsa — Julius Osahon

Unpaid angry teachers working with the Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, took to the streets in protest over the decision of the state Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, to pay them 50 per cent of May salary, out of the six months being owed by the state government.

The teachers had gathered at the Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Memorial Centre in Yenagoa to receive their salaries promised them by the governor. But trouble began immediately the teachers discovered that the government was only willing to pay 50 per cent of their May salary. The aggrieved workers rejected the offer, stormed out of the centre and marched to the streets in protest.

However, the governor, who saw the teachers in the morning while jogging, reportedly asked them to make do with what was available, promising to pay them January salary at the end of June. But the teachers rebuffed the governor overture because, according to them, they were not paid in January when civil servants in some other ministries last received their full month salaries.

 But a statement from Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the teachers under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) commended the government for the payment of 50 per cent salary to workers in the state. “The teachers also backed the ongoing staff verification exercise. They expressed confidence that the verification will flush out ghost workers from the pay roll”, the statement saidOne of the protesting teachers, who spoke in confidence, said they had expected the governor to pay them January salary in full before negotiating half payment for May.

He said: “We got a message this morning that we should come here that government want to pay us our salaries. The annoyance is that the governor paid civil servants salary in January, but refused to pay us. But now the government wants to pay half salary for May, instead of paying us January salary in full. we have not received  January, February, March and April salaries,” the teacher said.

He further complained that the state National Union of Teachers (NUT) was doing the bidding of the government. “What we are saying is that we cannot accept half salary for May without our January salary being paid. The issue of the January salary should be addressed”, he said.

It was gathered that the teachers sent a delegation to the office of the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Markson Fefegha, to discuss the issue. The delegation reportedly rejected the half salary and asked the government to keep the money in teachers’ account, pending when it would be complete.

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