Secondary and primary schools in Bayelsa State is yet to resume academic year following the failure of the State government to clear seven months’ salary arrears owed to public school teachers. Teachers in public schools in Bayelsa State embarked on a strike and declined to resume work at the end of the long vacation which terminated in the first week of September.
The development has kept pupils in government primary and secondary schools at home more than three weeks into the new academic year.
The Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in a statement on Monday advised teachers to stay at home, as the union was yet to shift grounds on its demand on the unpaid salary arrears. According to the statement signed by the Bayelsa State Chairman of NUT, Mr. Kalaama Toinpre, and the Secretary, Mr. Johnson Hector, the teachers frowned at efforts to factionalize the union.
The Bayelsa State NUT maintained that it remained the only legally recognized body charged with the responsibility of agitating for the welfare of primary and secondary school teachers.
It said that the State government had only paid teachers their January salaries in full and a half-month salaries followed in February, leaving arrears of seven months.
They said the industrial action became inevitable after the 21-day ultimatum given by the State Executive Council of the NUT to the government expired on Sept 19.
The State Commissioner for Education Markson Fefegha confirmed the allegations of NUT that the Bayelsa State government was involved in factionalizing the work force.