Lagos - The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Wednesday set January 2013 as deadline for states that have not implemented the new Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS) to begin payment or face industrial disputes.
The National President of the Union, Mr Michael Alogba-Olukoya, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The governors’ forum had in 2009 approved 27.5 per cent increase in salary of teachers in public schools, in line with the new Teachers Salary Scale (TSS).
Alogba-Olukoya lamented that 18 states were yet to commence implementation of the TSS.
He said that teachers’ welfare must always be held in high esteem, describing it as an important factor needed for the reform in the education sector.
According to the NUT president, the union has displayed enough patience and understanding by suspending its recent strike over the delay in the implementation.
Alogba-Olukoya observed that the affected governments were not showing concern to reciprocate the position of the teachers.
“We only suspended the strike, based on the intervention of the Minister of Education, who promised to prevail on all the defaulting state governments over the issue.
“However, we have started getting some commitments from some of the affected state governments who have promised to capture and commence the implementation of the TSS in their 2013 budgets.
“We, therefore, want to appeal to these state governments to be honourable enough to honour this agreement which we went into in 2009,” he said.
Alogba–Olukoya noted that teachers were not interested in strike because their position in national development was critical and should be treated with respect.
He warned that the union would not be held responsible for actions taken over non-implementation of the TSS by January 2013.
On the forth coming World Teachers Day, scheduled for Oct. 5, Alogba–Olukoya said that series of activities have been lined up for the celebration.
“We have set aside a lot of activities to mark our day and celebrate ourselves in this part of the country because, truly we deserve to be celebrated.
“We shall also be using that day to officially co-opt teachers of all the 104 Unity Colleges across the country into our fold.
“You know that before now they had been seeing themselves as civil servants, even though they are all professional teachers,” he said.
Alogba-Olukoya said that the union was hopeful that the Federal Government would use the celebration to come out with policies that would create the enabling environment for teachers to perform optimally.