by Dare Lawal
At a point during the ongoing negotiations between the federal government and ASUU following the strike embarked upon by the university lecturers, the federal government invited Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue to head its negotiation team. It did not work as ASUU refused to resume work.
The governor has another opportunity to try his luck as a negotiator as primary school teachers in his state on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press for the payment of the national minimum wage.
Speaking on Thursday, the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, Godwin Anya, said that the teachers were forced into the strike because the government failed to keep to the agreement it entered with the teachers that it would begin payment of the minimum wage in August.
Anya said contrary to the agreement, the government came up with a new chart, which showed that none of the teachers would benefit from full payment of the wage. He disclosed that the strike was called by the national body of the union, which ordered the state chapter not to suspend it until the government implements the demand.
The chairman said the new chart released by the government would only benefit those below grade level 7.
Meanwhile, some protesting school children on Thursday appealed to the state government to pay the wage, to avert the collapse of primary school system in the state.