Teachers commence indefinite strike in Oyo over unpaid salaries

Former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi in Shock
Former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi in Shock

Primary school teachers in Oyo State commenced an indefinite strike on Monday due to delay in payment of salaries and other requests.

The chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Oyo State wing, Samson Adedoyin, told PREMIUM TIMES that the strike became necessary due to the inability of the state government to meet demands of the union.

The NUT had last week issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Oyo State government to clear and settle the backlogs of salaries owed its members.

The union, while lamenting over unpaid salaries of primary school teachers, gave the state government 72 hours’ notice to address their challenges or face an indefinite strike action.

Teachers’ complaints

The union listed issues worrying the members of the union as non-implementation of promotions and accompanying benefits to the primary school teachers by the Oyo State Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC).

Others are delay in payment of salaries to primary school teachers, delay in the promotion of grade level 14 to 15, continued withholding of 2018 leave grant and delay in the clearance of teachers allegedly accused of illegal promotion.

It was however gathered that the state government invited the leaders of the union to a parley on May 15 but no deal was reached.

The NUT acknowledged that its leadership met with the state Head of Service and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on May 15, during which both government functionaries made passionate appeal to them to shelve the proposed strike.

The union however stated that the appeal of the state government could not change anything because none of their demands was met.

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The teachers are downing tools over delay in the promotion of primary school teachers from salary grade level 14 to 15, as well as delay in payment in payment of salary of primary school teachers.

They said they were commencing the strike today because efforts made by the state government to persuade the teachers were unsuccessful.

Our correspondent who monitored the strike reports that pupils in Ibadan, the state capital were sent out this morning by the teachers in conformity with the industrial action.

Most of the gates of the schools visited by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday were shut against the pupils.

At Sasa Community Primary School, Sasa in Akinyele Local Government, pupils were seen sent back home by the teachers.

The same scenario played out at Methodist N5 Primary School, NTA Road, Agodi, in Ibadan North Local Government Area, where the gate of the school was shut against the pupils.

At Oloba Primary School 1 and 2, in Ogbore Tioya in Ona Ara Local Government Area, the pupils were told to go home due to the industrial action which commenced today.

NUT chairman, Mr Adedoyin, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday added that the strike will not be called off until the government meet the demands of the primary school teachers in the state.

Mr Adedoyin maintained that the strike action can only be called off when the government is ready.

He said, “Primary School teachers commenced indefinite strike today in Oyo State.

“I can confirm that to you. That is why we called it indefinite strike. It is indefinite.

“It all depends on the government. If the government is ready to meet our demands, we are ready to suspend the strike.”

Government Optimistic

When reached, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Adeniyi Olowofela, said the issue between the teachers and the government would be solved within two days.

Mr Olowofela who confirmed that the state government had a meeting with the teachers on Friday, told PREMIUM TIMES that another meeting would soon be held to resolve the matter.

The professor in a telephone conversation, said, “We had a meeting with them on Friday and we are going to continue with the meeting.

“I believe we will have another meeting within the next two days to resolve the matter.”

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