Â By Samuel Tombra, Yenagoa
The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has described the plight of teachers in Bayelsa State as “pitiable and pathetic”.
At a press conference on Wednesday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, the President of NUT, Mr. Michael Olukoya, lamented that months of unpaid salaries of teachers left them in the throes of untold hardship.
Olukoya, said the national executive of the union came to specifically meet with the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson over the plight of teachers, but were told the governor was not available.
He, however, appealed to the state government to pay teachers their salaries, saying “The working condition of teachers here in Bayelsa is pathetic. The state of workers is nothing to write home about. Despite their working conditions, we commend the teachers for allowing maturity, peace, concord and amity to prevail.
“We have come here to plead with Governor Seriake Dickson that teachers should be paid their salaries.Â Look at the terrain of Bayelsa State,Â we have some communities that it will take some hours before you can get there. It costs money and what have you. So, we are appealing to Dickson to pay the salaries of our members.
“Next to issue of unpaid salaries is the issue of minimum wage or consolidated arrears.Â We stand to be challenged. We appeal that the government should not just take teachers for a ride.
“Every category of workers in Bayelsa State has been paid these arrears except the teachers. Teachers, mother of all professions, why are you treating them like this? So, we want to appeal to the government of Bayelsa State that this minimum wage or consolidated arrears that have eluded teachers should be paid to them.
“If not because we have not met with the governor, we would have left back a word and you know what that means,Â but we know him as a gentleman and his love for education. We believe the governor will do the needful.