By Festus Ahon – Asaba
Primary School Teachers, under the aegis of Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria, BESAN, Delta State Chapter, have protested against the non-implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage in the past 15 months, lamenting that they were being sidelined in the scheme of things.
The teachers who marched through the streets of Asaba called on the State Government to alleviate their sufferings by wading into the issue.
Displaying placards which bore several inscriptions such as “We need our minimum wage”, “Promote Graduate Teachers to Level 17”, “Is it a crime to be a primary school teacher”, “End discrimination of primary school teachers” among others, they decried the alleged discrimination against Primary School Teachers in the state.
Speaking during the protest, President of BESAN, Delta Chapter, Comrade Godday Iluarima, said: “We are here to protest what they have been denying us of.
“This includes the non-payment of our salaries according to the N30,000 minimum wage for the past 15 months.
“We know that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa called the leadership some months ago and mandated them to pay according to the minimum wage but the money did not reflect on our payslip.
“Also, we have not received our arrears for the past 15 months. If you go to our primary schools, you would be ashamed because of the shortage of teachers and the state of the classrooms”.
“We hope that the protest would touch the heart of the Governor to implement the minimum wage and remove promotions ceilings”.
Iluarima lamented the refusal to promote primary school teachers beyond level 14, saying that “we are under the Ministry of Basic Education like the Secondary School Teachers but we have been pegged to level 14.”
Reacting to the protest, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu said issues affecting primary school teachers were under the purview of the local government.