Bleak May Day in Delta over unpaid salaries

Bleak May Day in Delta over unpaid salaries
Bleak May Day in Delta over unpaid salaries

Bleak May Day in Delta over unpaid salaries

From Jonny Stevens, Asaba

As workers in Delta State are set to join their counterparts across the country to celebrate May Day, gloom, frustration, bitterness, anger, lamentation, and despair are not enough to describe the mood of the newly-recruited teachers by the Post Primary Education Board in the State who have continued to express their displeasure over the non-payment of their salaries after seven months in the service of the State without explanation from the relevant authorities.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the teachers now, heavily indebted and shrinking in stature, said she is a negation of her old self. She has resorted to frying akara (bean cake) at the roadside around Ughelli Central Motor park, to cater for her children.

As tears welled up in her eyes, she told our correspondent: “The last seven months have been so terrible for me. It has been like hell on earth – no salary, no food and no help. I cannot go into prostitution like many women and ladies are doing now, at least with this one (frying of Akara), I am feeding myself and my three children particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown."

Another teacher, who simply identified herself as Nkem, who said that she came from the same town with the governor complained that the nonpayment is taking longer than expected without explanation from relevant authorities, causing them to get heavily indebted, with some reaching to an extent where access to other credits is proving difficult particularly during the lockdown to prevent the spread of corona virus in Delta.

To survive the hard times brought upon her by prolonged non-payment of her salaries by the State government, the hapless woman resorted to washing plates and serving food at a popular restaurant located in Abraka,during the lockdown.

The pathetic tale of Nkem and others who craved anonymity is illustrative of the travails of the newly employed teachers some of who are now entering their eight month – from September, 2019 

The increasing acute hunger, starvation and helplessness being experienced by them particularly during the period  of th lockdown exposes the insensitive nature of Delta State goverment to the plight of workers in the State. 

Investigations revealed that the Delta State Government recently resorted to paying less than 300  of the newly recruited 1000 teachers which represents less than 40 percent of the total population of the new workers leaving, the other 700 to groan in pains.

Further findings revealed that as the economy bites harder as a result of the economic impact of the lockdown to curb the spread of corona virus , it has become increasingly difficult for the new teachers of the Post Primary Education Board to survive due to heavy  indebtedness with most of them resorting to begging.

Efforts to get the reaction of relevant offices in the Post Primary Education Board  or Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is yet to yield results.