NUT alleges fresh plots to destabilise primary, secondary education
There are fresh plots to destabilise the education system at the primary and secondary school levels, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has alleged.
The National President of the union, Dr. Nasir Idris, who stated this in Abuja, recently, alleged that some influential Nigerians at the state level are backing the non-registered Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) to destabilise the operations of NUT which could lead to the disruption of academic activities at the lower level of learning.
Idris, who was represented by the Deputy President of NUT, Kelvin Nwankwo, cautioned that the latest antics by ASUSS to rely on a purported judgement that granted the unregistered group a union status is not only misleading, but mischievous.
He said registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and collecting levies from unsuspecting teachers do not confer unionism status on the group, saying the unregistered group cannot negotiate collective bargaining agreement with any employer.
He explained that only the Registrar of Trade Union can duly register a group of workers as union in the country, saying adopting any other means to register ASUSS as a trade union will run contrary to the tenet of Labour laws which abhor registration of another union in the same sector where one already exists.
He hinted that in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court, NUT is awaiting the transmission of the matter to the Court of Appeal for the rehearing on jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
“The group of secondary school teachers led by Mr. Samuel Omaji making a hollow, deceptive and false claim to have obtained judgment to unionise secondary school teachers is reckless, complete falsehood and extraneous to the decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as and other relevant Labour Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Idris stated.
Citing a letter by the Minister of Labour and Productivity with ref No. ML. IB/147/5.1/188 dated May 18, 2012, NUT noted a trade union or association, which has not been finally registered and certified by the registrar of trade union even though it might have concluded most of the process required to obtain registration, hold no claim of being a union.
The union held that the extant provision of the Third Schedule Part A No. 26 of the Trade Unions Act CAP.T.14 LFN 2004 which provides: Nigeria Union of Teachers shall exercise jurisdiction over: “Teachers employed in educational institutions of all types, but excluding Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and other tertiary institutions.” as severally established by the Registrar of Trade Unions, that Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) is the body that is statutorily registered to organize teachers in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
Indeed, with the provision of the Trade Union Act, NUT called on all teachers of secondary schools in Nigeria to disregard the baseless claim by ASUSS as no such matter of membership of Secondary School Teachers was before the Supreme court and the Status of NUT in unionising teachers of primary and secondary schools remains sacrosanct and backed by the Jurisdictional Scope of trade unions as contained in the Trade Union Act CAP T.14 LFN 2004 cited above.
Idris maintained that the leadership of NUT has always rotated between primary and secondary school teachers where no one can claim marginalisation of any sort.
His words: “The NUT will clock ninety (90) years of Trade Union practice by July 2021. The leaders in the spirit of leadership have been mutually rotating her apex leadership’s position between the Secondary and Primary Schools teachers.
This notwithstanding, record has it that out of fifteen (15) presidents of our great Union, only two had been selected from the Primary School arm, while the others were drawn from Secondary Schools arm. The NUT is enjoying a robust spirit of comradeship where we peruse the welfare of our members and better conditions of service, but not which arm of the teaching industry do you belong.”
He further alleged that the latest agitation by ASUSS is a ploy to weaken the operations of the NUT, which will be resisted by the members.