Teachers in Jos, Plateau State have taken to the street on Monday morning to protest over none payment of complete salary and below minimum wage.
Clad in black with a banner that read ‘end half payment of salaries, pay full salaries and others. The civil servants comprised of middle-aged men and women in the civil service.
Meanwhile, before the protest, the workers wrote the government, issuing a seven-day ultimatum for the implementation of the new N30,000 federal minimum wage.
In the letter dated November 25, the workers said they had only been paid 50 per cent of the federal minimum wage for the past nine years.
“We are fed up. We have been patient with the government for long, and now that they have forced us to go public, we will do this for as long as the issues linger,” said Joshua Bala, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in the state.
According to him, several correspondences from the unions on the issue were not responded to, before the last seven-day ultimatum.
“These issues have been negotiated before. A unified salary structure was agreed upon, and implemented for federal and state civil servants, but not us,” he said.
However, in its response, the state government, through its information commissioner, Dan Manjang, said the governor conceded to the rights of the workers to demonstrate peacefully but condemned the demonstrations.
“However, due to the disruption to normalcy and negative impact on the economy of the state as well as the tendency for the protests to be hijacked by hoodlums and criminals, it has become important for the government to put the records straight and lay the facts in the court of public opinion.
”This is more so when the demonstrators by their chants and pronouncement are vilifying, castigating and calling his excellency the governor unprintable names over a matter that is not directly within his purview, and inspite of his efforts to ensure amicable resolution.
”In the first place, salaries, emoluments and allowances of local government staff and teachers are entirely the responsibility of the local government councils that belong to a different tier of government.
”This has been reinforced with the implementation of autonomy to the local governments in the state in line with recent national developments. Therefore the governor has no direct responsibility for the implementation of the new minimum wage at the local government level nor does he possess any fiat to “direct” such payment.