The Federal Capital Territory Wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has suspended its ongoing strike for six weeks following the intervention of the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike.
The Chairmen of the union, Stephen Knabayi, on Monday confirmed the suspension in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Knabayi said the strike was suspended from Oct. 2 to Nov. 13 to implement commitments by the Chairmen of the six Area Councils and the FCT minister.
Recalls that the NUT in FCT on Sept. 11, embarked on an indefinite strike over unpaid 40 percent peculiar and other outstanding allowances.
Other concerns of the teachers included, non-payment of 25 months arrears of the 2019 approved national minimum wage, non-release of some promotion letters to beneficiaries and non-implementation of released promotion letters.
Other issues were the non-payment of promotion arrears, non-upgrading of concerned teachers, non-implementation of salaries for upgraded teachers and non-implementation of annual salary increments in some councils.
They also alleged non-compliance with the agreement on payments of the backlog of teacher’s entitlement, amongst others.
Knabayi explained that the strike was suspended after an agreement was reached between the striking teachers and the Chairmen of the six Area Councils following the intervention of the minister.
He added that a 6-man committee was also set up and inaugurated to find a lasting solution to the issues.
“We reconsidered our stand and suspended the strike following the intervention of the minister of the FCT.
“We proceeded on strike over seven issues. Five of them, we have an agreement for their implementation with effect from October.
“The other two issues – peculiar allowances and payment of minimum wage arrears -, the minister has agreed to intervene with an agreement for their implementation in four weeks.
“So, we suspended the strike for six weeks to enable the minister to take action and see to the implementation of the commitments,” he said.
The chairman commended Wike for the intervention, which he described as “timely and impactful”
“Before now, there was nothing on the ground; there was just no hope.”
“As I speak to you, there is a committee working and it is expected to report back to the minister soon.
“Also, the Council Chairman of Abaji, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi has already commenced payment of teachers. This is an indication of their readiness to meet the agreement,” Knabayi said.
He identified communication gaps as one of the major issues affecting the relationship between the union and the chairmen of the councils.
Knabayi said: “Teachers are patient people; teachers are understanding people; teachers can tolerate delays in payment of their entitlement when they are aware of a plan to pay.
He stressed that they had to embark on the strike because no one was telling them anything about their entitlement and when they would be paid.