Delta Government, on Monday, said it would continue to be fair, just and compassionate about issues relating to members of the organised labour and its affiliate unions in the state.
The Chief of Staff, Government House, Olorogun David Edevbie stated this on behalf of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa when members of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Delta State Council, staged a peaceful protest to Government House over some federal government educational policies.
Olorogun Edevbie thanked the protesters for their peaceful conduct and assured them that their demands would be routed to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.
He harped on the need for labour leaders to always see dialogue as a veritable tool to address every agitation, stressing that no meaningful development could be achieved in a chaotic environment.
Earlier, the State Chairman of the union, Comrade Chris Akpede said the protest was to draw the attention of the state government to the widely publicised far-reaching policy statement made by the federal government in favour of teachers in the country.
Comrade Akpede disclosed that the far-reaching policy statement of President Mohammadu Buhari during the 2020 World Teachers Day that harmonised retirement age for teachers in Nigeria including other packages in form of allowances was discriminatory in nature as members of NASU were not considered for such benefits.
According to him, the fundamental objective and directive principle of state policies of the federal republic of Nigeria (1999 constitution as amended), states among other educational objectives of Nigeria, that the government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate education opportunities at all levels.
“We believe that the president’s policy statement which was made in favour of teachers and the Federal Executive Council approval are genuine acts of an employer aimed at motivating employees towards increased productivity with a view to giving quality education to our children as envisaged in the constitution.
“The problem NASU has with the Federal Executive Council approval is that it is discriminatory against the Non-Teaching professionals and support staff in the basic education sub-eector.
“Moreover, it is lacking in fairness, equity, good conscience and natural justice because teachers are not the only workers in the basic and foundational sub-sector of the education sector. Teachers work with quite a diverse range of Non-Teaching professionals and support personnel,” he added.
The Chairman of the union noted that the protest embarked upon by members of the union was not against the state government but against the Federal Executive Council approval, adding that it (the protest) was aimed at drawing attention to the discriminatory aspect of the approval with a view to a dressing it.