By Michael Odiah
As a proactive step to negotiate the fate of the Salary source of Primary School Teachers in Delta State as against the forthcoming debate at the State House of Assembly, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Council has embarked on a solidarity vanguard to protect the salary structure of its members.
This was showcased on Tuesday November 28, 2017, as the Delta State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Titus Okotie led hundreds of its members on a peaceful protest to the Delta State House of Assembly demanding that the salary structure of the Primary School Teachers should not be wholly transferred to the Local Government Councils.
While delivering the Union’s message to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and other principal officers of the House, Comrade Okotie said that the peaceful protest is a follow up to the one held on the 5th of July 2017 over the Union’s stand on the issue of local government autonomy adding that it is part of a national peaceful protest going on across the country.
Okotie further stated that the protest is targeted at rejecting the bill aimed at transferring the payment of primary school teachers salaries to local councils along the quest for local government autonomy that maybe forwarded to the State House of Assembly very soon ,adding that the funding of the primary education should remain the responsibility of the state or federal government through first line charge. “This is the only way the basic and primary education can be saved from imminent collapse”, he stressed.
On the issue of salary arrears, the articulate Union leader noted that some primary school teachers are being owed salaries for months in some states, due to the colossal inability of the councils to provide the funds needed for payment of salaries, thereby creating a demoralized cum hopeless milieu amongst teachers hence leading to a colossal dangerous aftermath as concerns the public primary education and the future of the mass under-privileged children in the country.
“It is against this backdrop that the mass protest is repeated today in order to draw the attention of the state House of Assembly to the ugly scenario and to call on the House to reject that bill aimed at transferring the payment of primary school teachers salaries to local councils along with the demand of autonomy.”
Receiving thee unionists at the Assembly gate, Speaker Oborevwori said that the House will look into the issue of proposed local government autonomy in Nigeria adding that the House is still expecting the transmitted copy from the National Assembly even though some states have received theirs.
The Speaker assured that when the transmitted copy comes from the National Assembly, the Honorable House which is well known all over the federation for its high level of vibrancy and unique articulation of issues will do the needful taking cognizance of their petitions.