Governors across the country have begun moves towards the implementation of the Teachers Salary Scale as Francis Falola; Sunday Aborisade; Ademola Oni; Kemi Obasola and Adelani Adepegba report
The strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Union of Teachers in June seems to be yielding results already as governors across the country have begun moves to meet the demands of the teachers.
The governors had to come to the rescue of the teachers who embarked on the strike to agitate for the implementation of the Teachers Salary Scale. The strike lasted for two months and would have continued if the Governors? Forum had not promised an increment of 25 per cent in the teachers? salary if their budget could accommodate it.
Luck seems to be on the side of the teachers as most of the governors have actually made provision for the increment and from January 2009, teachers will begin to earn more money than they currently do.
For professional teachers in Niger State, the state government has made provision for a 30 per cent addition to their salary from January 2009.
In an interview, the state NUT Chairman, Mr. Taneem Abdullahi, said, ?The state government has already approved 30 per cent increment for professional teachers in the state and it has been included in the 2009 budget, though we are yet to sign the agreement.
?The agreement has not been signed because some members of the committee set up to look into the TSS issue went on Hajj. Once they return, the agreement will be signed.?
Abdullahi said non-professional teachers in the state would benefit only an increment of 12.5 per cent, adding, ?They have opportunities to update their curriculum vitae and become professional teachers. This is an opportunity for the over 15,000 non-professional teachers in the state to become professionals. You want to earn more money, then become a professional.?
Citing an example of how the increment would reflect in the teachers? salaries, he said, ?A teacher on Grade level Seven, Step Sx, will earn at least an additional sum of N7,000 to what he or she currently takes home per month.?
In Enugu, the state government has made arrangement to increase the salaries of teachers by 25 per cent from January 2009. This, one of our correspondents gathered, was included in the draft 2009 budget presented to the state House of Assembly by Governor Sullivan Chime on Tuesday.
Our correspondent gathered that the governor proposed N31,431,615,000 or 51.99 per cent of the entire budget of N60,460,135,000 as recurrent expenditure and attributed the increase in the vote to the rise in personnel-related costs arising from the upward reviews of the pay packages of civil servants including teachers and the proposed employment of new teachers and doctorss.
The state recently employed about 2,000 teachers for post-primary schools in the state as part of efforts aimed at improving manpower base and ultimately curbing unemployment.
On its part, the Oyo State Government said it was going to stand by the arrangement reached at the Governors? Forum where it was agreed that the teachers? salary should be increased by 25 per cent.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communications, Mr. Dotun Oyelade, confirmed to one of our correspondents that the state government had accommodated the Teachers? Salary Structure in its 2009 budget.
Oyelade said, ?The state Governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, gave a directive that the money be included in the budget because he was part of the forum that made the pledge.?
?The TSS has been included in the 2009 budget. It was a decision taken at the Governors? Forum, a voluntary action that is binding on all the governors. Our government is passionate about the issue and from next January, the teachers will have their demand.?
The situation is not different in Ogun State where the NUT Chairman, Mr. Sam Idowu, confirmed that the union had been informed that the state government had made provision for the payment of the new teachers? salary scale in the 2009 budget.
Idowu said though he was not at the defence of the budget before the state House of Assembly, he had been assured that the new salary scale for the teachers had been budgeted for.
?I was not there during the budget defence before the assembly; but the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour, Mr. Wale Oduntan, told me that provision had been made for the new salary scale in the 2009 budget,? said the NUT chairman who claimed that he did not know the amount.
However, Idowu alleged that the government had not issued an enabling circular demanded by the NUT to ensure that the head teachers in the state primary schools comply with the directive.
?We have asked for an enabling circular but they (the state government) have not given us. We want to give the circular to the primary school head teachers because they are the ones still preparing vouchers of their teachers. If the head teachers do not have the enabling circular, they are not likely to comply,? he said.
Idowu, who said there were about 23,000 teachers in the employment of the state in both primary and secondary schools, explained that the computerisation of the salaries of the secondary school teachers in the state had been completed.
?The state is still working on the computerisation of the salaries of the primary schools teachers; so, it is still planned manually. That is why we asked for the enabling circular, which we have not been given,? he said.
His counterpart in Lagos State, Mr. Michael Alogba, said teachers in the state now had a reason to smile as an increment of 27.5 per cent had been provided for in the 2009 budget.
Alogba said, ?Teachers are going to smile from January. The 27.5 per cent will boost what most professional teachers presently earn.?