Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

TEACHERS SPECIAL ALLOWANCE: NUT Must Declare Strike and Mass Protest for Implementation

TEACHERS SPECIAL ALLOWANCE: NUT Must Declare Strike and Mass Protest for Implementation

By Victor Osakwe

Following the introduction of the new national minimum wage in 2012 after a long delay, many state governors deliberately removed the Teachers Special Allowance (TSA) which teachers had been hitherto enjoined. The TSA which is 27.5 percent of the basic salary was won by the teachers following a national strike that lasted 5 weeks beginning from June 29, 2008.

Despite the fact that the new minimum wage was only implemented fully for those in the lowest level of the civil service while a little percentage was given to the middle and high level categories where teachers belong, many state governments deliberately removed the TSA from the pay roll of teachers. The affected states include Lagos, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Zamfara, Niger, Abia, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Enugu, Benue, Kogi, etc found it necessary to remove the TSS.

In Lagos State, the Fashola government who in order to beat the new minimum wage law is paying what it called a consolidated salary structure to all its civil servants including teachers has refused to disclose the breakdown of this salary structure. The state government has even stopped paying leave bonus to all its workers as it insists that all the allowances including leave bonus are in the consolidated salary.

What obtains in Lagos State is being replayed in all other states that have failed to implement the new minimum wage properly as stated above.

A look at the states which have failed to implement the TSS shows that they are run by capitalist parties like PDP, ACN, ANPP, etc. This clearly shows that there is no difference between them as they are all parties for the billionaires looters while paying poor teachers or their civil servants well enough is not their agenda. It is the money for more contracts and direct looting of the treasury of their states that they are always after.

The leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers should stop lip service or mere threat in the struggle for the implementation of the TSS. They should begin the mass mobilization of teachers for a 48-hour strike and mass protest in the first stance, and solicit the support of Nigeria Labour Congress, other industrial unions and all the sections of the working people to force the anti-worker governments to pay the TSA.