The President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, has reiterated the teacher union’s resolve to win its battle for a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, amid fears the ongoing teacher strike will affect oncoming WAEC examinations, Mr. Carbonu stressed that teachers were essential at various stages in pre-tertiary education.
“Who sets the examination questions? It is the teachers. Who supervises the exams? It is the teachers. Who marks and assesses the exams? It is the teachers. They should not push us,” he said.
Mr. Carbonu further blamed the disruption in schools on the government’s non-action on teachers’ demands, which are being echoed by labour unions.
“We want to teach. We want to prepare the students for exams. But the situation we have gotten to, we don’t see indications from the government that they are willing to create a congenial atmosphere for these activities to take place.”
The teachers walked out of a meeting with the government on Tuesday, which was convened to settle the labour dispute.
Mr. Carbonu described the meeting with the government “as one of the saddest days” of his life.
He was not happy that the government tried to engage teacher unions separately from organised labour.
The government has been reluctant to meet with a striking group, but Mr. Carbonu finds this to be unreasonable.
“The question was are we here to find solutions, or we are here to win legal battles?” he asked.
In addition, Mr. Carbonu said the teachers didn’t want to hold up negotiations of other labour groups.
“If we are the obstacles… we cannot hold other labour organisations hostage, so we walked out,” he said.