Legal Nigeria

Teachers threaten strike over minimum wage

By Kanayo Umeh, Gbenga Salau and Adelowo Adebumiti

Union, stakeholders urge filling of ‘35,000 vacancies’, prompt payment of retirees by Lagos

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has deplored the non-payment of the basic salary by some state governments since the National Minimum Wage Act was signed into law in 2018.

It warned that members nationwide would be directed to withdraw their services if the issues are not urgently addressed.

In remarks to mark the 2021 World Teachers’ Day, the body’s National President, Dr. Nasir Idris, stressed that following the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers needed to be adequately empowered for effectiveness.

His words: “The NUT observes with dismay that some state governments are yet to implement the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act for teachers since it was signed into law in 2018. We herewith call on the erring ones to implement the law without further delay. May we remind them that every worker is worthy of his/her wage, especially now that our take-home pay can hardly take us home.”

BESIDES, the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter pleaded with the state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration to fill the ‘35,000 vacancies’ in the state.

Its Chairman, Comrade Kazeem Alabi Labaika, made the demand during the observance of the global event.
ALSO, the Lagos State Government has been called upon to improve security in schools. It was also urged to ensure prompt payment of teachers’ retirement entitlements.

In a communique issued, yesterday, at the end of a roundtable on COVID-19 and education recovery in Lagos State, organised by Human Development Initiatives (HDI) and Actionaid Nigeria with support from Norad, the participants observed that while the running cost of school principals had been increased, that of headteachers, they claimed, remain at N20,000 monthly, urging immediate review.

This is even as the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) sought high-quality professional development (PD) opportunities for tutors.

The National President, Chief Yomi Otubela, noted that even before the pandemic, many education systems were not providing teachers to strengthen their skills.