Thursday described the plight of teachers in Bayelsa State where the
government declared emergency in education, as “pitiable and pathetic.”
The NUT leaders made the observation at a press conference on
Wednesday in Yenagoa, the state capital after a two-day consultative
meeting with its state chapter.
The President, NUT, Mr. Michael Olukoya, lamented that months of
unpaid salaries had left teachers on the throes of untold hardship.
Olukoya said NUT national executive came specifically to meet state
Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, over the teachers’ plight, but were told
the governor was not available.
He, however, appealed to the state government to pay the teachers’ salaries.
He said: “The working conditions of teachers here in Bayelsa are
pathetic. The state of workers here is nothing to write home about.
Despite their working conditions, we commend the teachers for allowing
maturity, peace, concord and amity to prevail.
“We have come here to plead with Governor Seriake Dickson that
teachers should be paid their salaries. Look at the terrain of Bayelsa
State, we have some communities that it will take hours before you can
get there. It costs money and what have you. So, we are appealing to
Dickson to pay the salaries of our members.
“Next to the issue of unpaid salaries is the minimum wage or
consolidated arrears. We stand to be challenged. We appeal that the
government should not just take teachers for a ride.
“Every category of workers in Bayelsa State had been paid these
arreas except the teachers. Teachers, mother of all professions, why are
you treating them like this? So, we want to appeal to the government of
Bayelsa State that this minimum wage or consolidated arrears that have
eluded teachers should be paid to them.”