Wednesday, April 21, 2021 2:18 pm
Wike has refused to pay despite order from Industrial Court and Appeal Court
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Some of the over 250 teachers working at primary and secondary demonstration schools attached to tertiary institutions owned by Rivers on Wednesday stormed Government House, Port Harcourt to protest non-payment of their salaries for five years.
The protesting teachers were joined in the protest by Enefaa Georgewill, Chairman, Rivers State Civil Society Organizations and Golden Spiff, a former student of one of the Demonstration Schools.
The teachers, who arrived Government House gate, Port Harcourt, with bedding and other households items, said they will not leave until Governor Nyesom Wike addresses them and orders the payment of their salaries.
The teachers lamented that the state government has refused to pay their salaries despite order of the National Industrial Court of June 2018 directing the payment.
They noted that though the State government appealed the judgment, the Appeal was struck out for lack of merit .
The NEWS can recall that the woes of the teachers started on 18th of February 2016, when Governor Wike ordered that the salaries of the teachers should be expunged from the payroll.
Wike had argued then that since the schools collect fees from parents, their management should be responsible for payment of the teachers’ salaries and allowances and not the State Government
The directive affected teachers of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Demonstration secondary school, Ndele; Rivers State University International Secondary and Staff School, Port Harcourt, and Ken-Saro Wiwa Polytechnic Comprehensive Secondary School, Bori.
Of the numbers, 102 were teachers at the former Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University, 97 at the IAUE and 55 were employees at Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.
During their protest on Wednesday, the teachers lamented failure of state government to pay their salaries since February 2016 despite the order from the National Industrial Court.
They said the denial of salaries has resulted in unnecessary hardship for themselves and their families.
Our Correspondent reports that Governor Wike was said to out of the State when the teachers arrived at the Government’s House gate.
The teachers, mostly women, were seen sitting while others were lying on the mats and other bedding materials.
No official of the state government official has addressed the aggrieved teachers at the time of filing this report.