Teachers at the Nigeria French Language Village Staff School in Badagry, Lagos State on Thursday protested against what they described as the continuous short payment of their salaries by the management of the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the protest, which was peaceful, crippled activities in the school as pupils were sent home.
Some of the teachers claimed that the NFLV management had refused to honour its agreement with the teaching staff, despite several promises.
The teachers said they agreed on a 20 per cent cut in their salaries when the management of the institution wanted to terminate their appointments, following the Federal Government’s directive that universities should stop paying the salaries of workers in staff schools.
“We were able to reach a compromise and we agreed that our salaries would be slashed by 20 per cent because the management said they didn’t have enough funds to accommodate our salaries.
“In December 2016, we won the suit against the Federal Government at the Industrial Court and we were finally able to reach an agreement with the management in October 2017. The management then promised to revert to our previous salaries while arrears would be paid.
“We received our salaries for the month of January yesterday and found that it was still the same old salary. So, we decided to embark on this strike as the management had taken us for granted and we were not prepared to tolerate such it any longer,” one of the teachers said, on condition of anonymity.
Another teacher complained that the management owed its staff salary arrears from January to December 2017.
“The management keeps saying that it lacks funds, but we know this is not true because the pupils’ fees are remitted to its account. So, lack of funds is no excuse,” the teacher said.
Mrs Adenike Olateju, a parent of one of the pupils, pleaded with the staff and management of the NFLV to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
“It’s our children that suffer as they would be out of school and this would affect them negatively. Both parties should come together and resolve the issues,” she said.
The Public Relations Officer of the NFLV, Mr Festus Okundia, said the issue would be resolved.
He said, “The major issue is that the institution doesn’t have the funds to pay them and that was why we initially reached an agreement with them to reduce their salary by 20 per cent.
“As soon as the funds are available, they would be paid all their entitlements, including arrears, but they must exercise patience because of the situation of things right now.”