The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) said on Friday that plans were under way to meet with either the Minister of Education or the Minister of Labour and Employment over teachers’ unpaid salary arrears.
Dr Mike Ike-Ene, the acting Secretary-General of the union, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Ike-Ene said it had become necessary for the union to dialogue with the relevant stakeholders, with a view to resolving the unpaid salary arrears owed by 19 states and the federal government.
According to him, some unity school teachers are on strike due to unpaid salary arrears.
Ike-Ene said that the union was ready to fight for its members, hence, the effort to dialogue with the federal government to ensure that their salary arrears were paid.
“Those who feel that they belong to NUT are still on strike; those who said that they belong to Trade Union Congress are not on strike; they are still working.
“They are supposed to be part of us; in fact, we are in court with the Senior Civil Service Association concerning their membership, especially the ones who had applied to become our members.
“Because the Constitution of Nigeria says all those who are doing the same kind of trade are supposed to belong to one union, we see no reason why TUC will lay claim to them.
“We are already talking with the authority concerned; we are looking forward to hold a meeting with either the Minister of Labour or Minister of Education,’’ he said.
NAN reports that NUT earlier last month gave the state governments 30 working days ultimatum with effect from June 16, to pay up teachers’ salary arrears or face nationwide strike.
The acting secretary-general noted that 19 states were owing teachers’ salaries, 90 per cent in primary schools.
He listed the states to include Ondo, Ekiti, Cross River, Taraba, Benue, Imo, Niger, Osun, Abia and Nasarawa.
Others are Delta, Bayelsa, Oyo, Kwara, Borno, Zamfara, Plateau, Kogi, and Adamawa.
Ike-Ene added that Borno State minimum wage was not fully implemented to primary school teachers while Zamfara had yet to implement national minimum wage for all teachers.
According to him, a worker deserves his wages; there is no reason why they should not be paid; they have rendered their services; so, government can should not owe them.
“If you do not pay people they will not give their best; their productivity will drop; but when you pay them, that is motivation; of course, you will be sure they will give their best,’’ he said.