500 Science teachers in Cross River state on Tuesday blocked the governor’s office with mats, wrappers in protest of the alleged removal of their names from the payroll of the state.
They also raised alarm over non-payment of their salaries of September and October adding that they have turned to beggars and doing odd jobs in a bid to survive.
Vanguard learned that the teachers had earlier protested on the 5th of November, also blocking the gate of the governor’s office denying everyone entry and exit.
Spokesperson of the teachers, Mr Kenneth Bisong told Vanguard that they (teachers) don’t understand the rationale behind the Ayade led administration in its decision to stop paying them and remove their names from the payroll.
“We are among the best brains as far as Science teaching is concerned in Cross River. Our recruitment in 2015 was done by Educom an Indian firm with a proven track record for standard and excellence.
“Initially we didn’t know that any has happened until our colleagues stared getting paid and our people were not , we went to relevant offices to find out what happened, we discovered that our names have been removed from the payroll by government.
“Our names were removed from the payroll in September, we started work since 2015, but we paroled in January 2016. We are about 500 teachers affected, and it could be more.
“Government didn’t follow the service rules, we don’t know what the government wants to achieve by removing our names from the payroll, and treating with injustice.
“We are the life wire of Secondary Schools are the soul of our younger ones tomorrow, does the government intend to engage quacks. All we want is the payment of our September and October salary arrears.
When contacted, Special Adviser, Media & Publicity to Gov Ayade, Mr Christian Ita said it was just an audit by government and no one was sacked.
“Nobody has been sacked, it is just an audit, a lot of people who joined the civil service in 2015 did so through the back door. There is no cause for alarm, no one has been sacked.
“The governor is doing a cleansing of the state payroll in other to delete ghost workers.
“Nobody has sacked them. Government has realised that because approval was given for employment in some areas, the people in charge resorted to over employment.
“In some cases where 200 persons were approved for employment, the people saddled with the responsibility recruited 700 staff. So, nobody has been sacked.
“Those whose employment were genuine have been given letters for re-validation of their employment. This means that those that were genuinely employed are to be restored back to the payroll,” Ita said.