The National Union of Teachers have given state governors an ultimatum to increase their salaries as recommended by the TSS.
Teachers in public primary and secondary schools have set January 2013 as the deadline for states that have not implemented the new Teachers’ Salary Structure, TSS, to begin payment or face industrial disputes.
The teachers, under the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, through their national president, Michael Alogba-Olukoya, said this on Wednesday.
The governors’ forum had in 2009 approved 27.5 per cent increase in salary of teachers in public schools, in line with the new TSS.
Mr. Alogba-Olukoya lamented that 18 states are yet to commence implementation of the TSS.
He said that teachers’ welfare must always be held in high esteem, describing it as an important factor needed for the reform in the education sector.
According to the NUT president, the union has displayed enough patience and understanding by suspending its recent strike over the delay in the implementation.
Mr. Alogba-Olukoya observed that the affected governments are not concerned about their teachers despite their patience. He said the union only suspended the strike, based on the intervention of the Minister of Education, who promised to prevail on all the defaulting state governments over the issue.
“However, we have started getting some commitments from some of the affected state governments who have promised to capture and commence the implementation of the TSS in their 2013 budgets.
“We, therefore, want to appeal to these state governments to be honourable enough to honour this agreement which we went into in 2009,” he said.
Mr. Alogba–Olukoya said the teachers are not interested in strikes because their position in national development is critical and should be treated with respect.
He warned that the union would not be held responsible for actions taken over non-implementation of the TSS by January 2013.
On the forth coming World Teachers Day, scheduled for October 5, Mr. Alogba–Olukoya said series of activities have been lined up for the celebration.
“We shall also be using that day to officially co-opt teachers of all the 104 Unity Colleges across the country into our fold.
“You know that before now they had been seeing themselves as civil servants, even though they are all professional teachers,” he said.
Mr. Alogba-Olukoya said the union is hopeful that the Federal Government would use the celebration to come out with policies that would create the enabling environment for teachers to perform optimally.