The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Primary and post-primary school workers under the auspices of the Association of Non-academic Union of Education and Associated institutions, on Wednesday, embarked on a protest at Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat, Uyo demanding equal treatment with the teachers.
The group are demanding that the 65 years service extension and special salary scale for the teachers should apply to its members and other benefits including an extension to 40 years of service from the present 35.
The protesters led procession around the secretariat, chanting solidarity songs and displaying placards of various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read “approve 65 years and 40 years for non-teaching staff,” “we are qualified as teachers,” and also “don’t deny what belongs to us, NASU reject discriminatory policy”
Addressing the protesters, NASU-SUBEB chairman, Aniefok Simon regretted that his members were excluded from the extension of service granted to the teachers and called on the federal and state government to stop the discrimination.
“President Mohammadu Buhari through the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu at the 2020 World Teachers Day celebration held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, announced incentives for teachers in public Basic and secondary school in Nigeria which include an extension of the retirement age of teachers to 65years and years of service to 40years from the current 35 as well as special salary scale and enhanced allowances.
“The federal executive council at its meeting on Wednesday 20th January 2021 has granted approval to the incentives, while the Minister of Education announced at a press conference that the Bill titled “Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria bill (2021) will soon be transmitted to the National Assembly in order to be enacted into law.
“Unfortunately, the non-teaching staff in the school system were excluded from this gesture of government. While we members of NASU applauded this gesture, we wish to remind the government that teachers are not the only workers in schools. Teachers work with a diverse range of non-teaching professionals and support personnel in order to achieve the set goals,” he said.
He, therefore, asked that the federal and state governments put an end to the discriminatory industrial relations practices against the non-teaching staff and include them in the approved special teachers’ pension scheme to guarantee better welfare for them among others.
In her response, the director of administration, SUBEB, Mrs. Mary Ekaette who addressed the protesters on behalf of the chairman of SUBEB, Paul Ekpo, expressed appreciation to the protesters.
She told them that their demands have been heard and assured that she would communicate the same to the appropriate authority for action.