A group, the Basic Education Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (BESAN), has demanded full implementation of the old N18,000 minimum wage for teachers in primary and junior secondary schools in Kogi State.
Its demand was contained in an open letter sent to Governor Yahaya Bello in Lokoja on Monday.
The letter, dated November 25, said the group was demanding the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage to arrest the dwindling fortunes of basic education.
BESAN, an umbrella body of teachers in primary and junior secondary schools, said other civil servants had been enjoying the minimum wage, stressing that its demand was in the interest of fairness and justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the letter was signed by Messrs Onotu Yahaya and Tope Akintobi, the state chairman and secretary of BESAN.
It called for a stop to the payment of percentage salary to teachers in the basic education sector.
The group described the monthly payment of 35 per cent salary to its members from January to date as disheartening and an aberration in the history of education in the state.
According to it, the 35 per cent monthly salary payment also violates the governor’s earlier directive on 60 per cent monthly salary payment to teachers in the sector.
The teachers called on the governor to order the immediate payment of their outstanding salary arrears and allowances from January 2018 to date, including the balance of the underpayment of 60 per cent benchmark.
“Government should promote hard work and dedication to duty by rewarding and motivating the teachers through prompt payment of N18,000 minimum wage, leave allowances and promotion and annual salary incremental steps/rates with cash backing,” they said.
The group called the attention of the governor to the problem of acute shortage of teachers in many primary and junior secondary schools.
It said the problem largely arose as a result of the workers screening exercise carried out by the government in 2016 which, they said, had reduced the staff strength in the sector to 16,419 from 23,466.