Primary school teachers in Taraba State have decried the non-payment of salaries for three months and have urged Governor Darius Ishaku to come to their aid.
Some teachers who pleaded anonymity while speaking to journalists in Jalingo described the situation as worrisome and appealed to the governor to, as a matter of urgency, order for the payment of their salaries.
A female teacher in one of the primary schools in Wukari LGA of the state who also pleaded anonymity explained that the state government owes them three months’ salaries.
“Taraba State government is also owing us two-months salaries that were not paid in 2017, one during the late Governor Danbaba Suntai’s tenure and the other one was during the former Ag. Governor Sani Danladi and now three months during Ishaku’s administration.” said the source.
However, they alleged that the leadership of the union had mortgaged the union to the state government which is why they are not putting pressure on the governor to settle their salaries.
Responding to the allegations while fielding questions from newsmen in Jalingo, the Chairman Nigerian Union of Teachers NUT, Taraba state chapter, Peter Julius on Monday, confirmed the non-payment of primary school workers for three months.
Julius also described the situation as pathetic, saying that since the month of May, teachers have not being paid their salary which has now made life unbearable, adding that many of them have not been able to afford three square meals per day.
“When we came on board, there were issues of salary, there were salaries that have not been paid to us but the Union is still in talking terms with the government, agitating, soliciting with the government to pay us our salary, this is not what we should be doing because it is our right to be paid our salary it is not a privilege.
What they keep telling us is because we are about to come to a compromise, but because of the COVID-19 we have not been paid, it’s very pathetic because no leader will like to lead people that are crying, our people are crying not because of any other thing but because of our salary even our arrears have not been paid, for the past ten years there has not been a promotion for primary school teachers in the state” he said.
He noted that primary school teachers have not enjoyed the eighteen thousand minimum wage implemented in the state some years ago.
“Even the eighteen thousand minimum wage was not fully implemented to the primary school teachers for more than six years now, thank God the thirty thousand minimum wage is now on board but it has not also been implemented in the state, but our major yearnings now is that let our arrears be paid, can you imagine today is 10th August as I speak to you our Salary for the month of May have not been paid to us, teachers.
“We are yet to receive our salary that is why we are calling on the state government through our board chairman to talk to them to pay us our emoluments because the children we are teaching are the children of members of the society” he stressed.
He called on the members of the Union to be calm as its leaders are aware of the situation and they are working on ensuring that the right of the members of the Union is protected.
The NUT Chairman, however, noted that the state government engagement of three thousand education rescue teachers in the state has further boost learning in the state but the payment of teachers’ salaries is threatening the gains made so far.
When our correspondent contacted the chairman Taraba state Universal Basic Education Board TSUBEB, Yakubu Agbaizo in a telephone text message, to comment on the development he simply replied ” Okay sir”.