Imo State teachers are determined not to go back to work when schools reopen until their accumulated salary arrears have been cleared.
Philip Nwansi, the chairman of Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), while speaking to journalists in Owerri, on Thursday, said that the government had done nothing in settling their arrears of salaries despite meeting with the State governor, Hope Uzodinma on several occasions on the issue.
Nwansi disclosed that the Governor had in a meeting with NUT some months ago promised to clear arrears of salaries owed to teachers.
He complained that up till the first week of September, salaries of about 2000 teachers in the State had not been paid for about seven months.
According to him, “In Ngor Okpala LGA, no primary school teacher has received salary since March this year. In Owerri West and other LGAs also, many teachers are yet to receive their salaries.
“There is no way you can tell me that what is holding their salaries is BVN and the banks. We cannot believe that. You cannot tell me that the papers of all the teachers in Ngor Okpala are wrong.
“What we’re saying is that if every teacher does not get salaries up to date and if the union does not get its check-off dues, there is no possibility of schools reopening in Imo State.
“The union has not been running since March and the government is deducting the check-off dues and not remitting the same to the union. And if we don’t react, our members will never have full confidence in us anymore. They’ll think we’ve compromised.”
Nwansi further credited the fear of teachers to reopen schools to the coronavirus pandemic which he said has not been properly contained in the State.