The Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has asked the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to embrace peace as the union has come to stay.
National President of ASUSS, Mr Samuel Omaji, and the Secretary-General of the union, Mr Sola Adigun, said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos as a reaction to NUT claim that ASUSS is not (and can never be) a trade union in Nigeria.
The duo described the NUT position as laughable.
They said it was not only that NUT had lost grip over the secondary school teachers in no fewer than 25 out of the 36 states of the federation, but it also lacks the constitutional power to determine its existence or otherwise.
They said it was not as if they just decided to break away from NUT without genuine reasons. They said their reason is to enable the group to serve the interest of Nigeria’s secondary school teachers effectively.
They said the journey began in 2001 while they applied official in 2005 to the Registrar of Trade Union for registration.
They said even though their application was thrown away by the registrar in 2007 on the premise that such application is contrary to Sections 5(4) and 3(2) of the Trade Union Act, the union challenged the decision and referred their case to the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“And the minister granted us the approval in 2008, citing Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution and Section 51 of Trade Union Act, CAP 437 of 1990 and Section 2 of the Trade Union Amendment Act 2005 to back up his decision,” Omaji said.
They further argued that beside that, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has also made provisions under Convention No.87 and 98 of 1949, which Nigeria ratified in 1960 for the freedom of association.
“And so NUT has no right to prevent our emergence as a trade union,” they said.
They said more to it, is the Supreme Court judgment they secured, on January 15, this year recognizing their union as a trade union.
They, therefore, asked NUT again to see ASUSS as a partner in progress and not as a treat and the development of the teaching profession and the education sector generally.