You must pay our gratuities before you leave office, retired teachers tell Obiano
Retired teachers in Anambra State have protested nonpayment of their gratuities by the state government since four years.
The asked Governor Willie Obiano-led administration to pay them their gratuities owed since 2017 years before vacating office on March 17,2022.
The retirees, in their numbers, carried placards with various inscriptions as they marched through Teachers House Road, Awka to register their grievances.
Some of the placards read “Obiano pay us our pension and gratuity in line with the approved structure,” Give us our arrears of pension,” “Obiano give Fidelity bank order to pay us the deductions you made from our salaries,” “Our gratuities are our rights, pay us now that we are alive,” and “Is it when we die that others will collect what we worked for?”
The teachers expressed regret that they recently buried a deputy director, who died while waiting for the state government to pay her emoluments after thirty-five years of service.
Their spokesperson, Mrs. Victoria Maduka, who retired as a Zonal Director in 2018 from Ogidi zone, claimed that many of them, including those who retired in 2017, were yet to receive a dime from the government having served for thirty-five years.
Maduka expressed regret that the situation had adversely affected her and other colleagues, who struggled to eat, pay hospital and electricity bills as well as house rents and children’s school fees.
She said that it was unfortunate that despite the letter they wrote to the government three weeks ago, no response had been given to them as regards to what was delaying their gratuities in the last four years.
According to her, though the tenure of the present administration would end in less than one month, they believed their emoluments could still be paid considering the efforts and sacrifices they had put in moving the state forward.
Another retiree, Mr. Raymond Achebe while narrating the impact of the long denial of their monies on their families, appealed to government to consider their plights and pay them.
Other retirees wondered why teachers, who had helped in building the country, would not be paid after thirty-five years while government was always quick to pay politicians, who worked for only four or eight years.