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Teachers down tools in Bayelsa, seek enhanced welfare

Barely two days after schools resumed for the second term in Bayelsa State, the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, (ASUSS) made up of teachers in public secondary schools in the state on Tuesday, gave a seven-day notice to the state government to resolve issues bordering on their welfare and working conditions.

This is as the Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT) commenced a sit-at-home strike on Tuesday over salary arrears owed teachers running into seven months.

ASUSS in a statement on Tuesday signed by the chairman and the secretary, Oyinemi Ebredeni and Egba Osomowo, said “the matters are peculiar to the post-primary schools board”.

The body demanded the immediate conduct of promotion interview in the post-primary schools board; payment of N18, 000 minimum wage arrears and stoppage of Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS) deductions from the salaries of its members until every teacher in the sector is captured.

It also demanded the stoppage of deductions by principals from the salaries of salaries in the name of COT already paid by the government; immediate refund of the N1, 000 deducted from December salaries of its members under the guise of identity cards.

ASUSS insisted that the allowances of science teachers and games/sports masters be included in their salaries and not through the principals as well as the immediate transfer of teachers’ salary payment to their respective (bank) accounts as obtained in other ministries, departments and agencies.

“ASUSS, therefore, calls on the state government to respond to the aforementioned issues within seven working days”, it stated.

The body, however, dissociated itself from the strike action declared on Monday by the NUT, saying that “ASUSS and NUT are in court over the nonchalant attitude of NUT over the years”.

Chris Eze, Yenagoa

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