Thursday, 30 April 2020

May Day: Classroom teacher sends emotional letter to labour leader

Ukorebi Esien | 1st May 2020

As the world celebrate  May day, where workers all over the world are been celebrated for their outstanding performance and productivity, a classroom teacher decided to celebrate the day with his ink and paper, pouring out his emotional displeasure over the ill treatment of workers in Cross River state by Governor Ben Ayade.

The teacher who gave his name as Mike Udam  explained that he was promoted to level 12 in 2016 and over three years now he is still paid a level 9 salary while his next door neighbor and colleague has since been enjoying his new wage.

Explaining further Udam said this situation is not just peculiar to him alone but they are thousands of civil servants under the Cross River State civil service with the same fate. 

Udam's open letter to the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress circulated on social media reads in Full; 


Dear Sir

I am writing to you openly as the last and only option I have left so that perhaps the world can also hear the cry of those of us who have been grossly marginalized by the state government and under your watch, it looks like you have kept quiet as if nothing is going on.
I represent thousands of workers in Cross River State, where you are our labour leader, who have been promoted by his Excellency Senator Ben Ayade, and till today, 36 months now, our colleagues on the same level are earning a different salary from us.

We were told that when we vote you into office you will fight for our rights. Till this moment it is difficult to see how you are fighting. We will be told to be patient and we have been till now.

There is nowhere in the world where two workers in the same office on the same grade level earn different salaries where one is paid according to his new rank and the other paid according to his old rank. I was promoted in 2016 from level 9 to 12 and for three years now, I still earn level 9 salary and my next door colleague is earning level 12 salary promoted the same day with me.
It is abnormal, unheard of and unthinkable and above all this is happening right in front of you, under your watch.

With the payment of April salary and the rumor that the 4 or 5 thousand added on top of our salaries is the minimum wage, please let his Excellency know that implementation is the first demand. It is only after he has implemented the promotion will he be qualified to speak about the new minimum wage. We all need to be the same level playing ground.

As at today, beyond the covid 19 stay at home, this grave injustice mated on us is not telling well on our emotions. Your silence or lack of interest to fight for the workers involved has prompted us to wonder what is the essence of belonging to a union?

I want to use the name of God to beg you that you use your good offices to persuade the governor to direct that all workers promoted be made to enjoy the salaries associated with their new rank on or before the May day salary strategy.
If I have spoken badly, please forgive me, but know that being patient for three years is not an easy thing. We have been pushed to the world and if nothing is done, we will resign to fate.

I hope you will wake up and fight for us. That was why we voted for you. You cannot be clapping for the government and naming it labour friendly, that has marginalized your workers for three years.

If there is hope for arrears, I would not have worried knowing that the delay is savings for me. But it is open secret that Cross River state government does not pay arrears of promotion. So, the more the delay, the more, we at a loss. As at today, I have lost close to a million Naira to the government.

Let me state that, this single action of the government that you are taking very lightly has affected the psychology of the workers, especially teachers affected and motivation to work has dropped. I teach 120 students in my school and my promotion is unimplemented while my friend whose entire school population is not even up to a single class in my school is enjoying the promotion for three years now. It is just unfair.  Do something please.

Thank you

Mike Udam
Marginalized Classroom Teacher

The Ayade's government have indeed not been fair to civil servants in the state as there are sundry issues and complains from civil servants over various forms of ill treatments ranging from undue sack of workers without reason, none promotion of workers due for promotion, none payment of those promoted etc.

One hopes that this year's Worker's day will usher in a new era for workers in Cross River state.