Fight brews among Ekiti teachers
There is bickering and power game among teachers in Ekiti State under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Teachers and the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools.
While the NUT, Ekiti chapter, has called on Governor Ayodele Fayose to proscribe ASUSS for allegedly operating illegally in the State, the latter said it remained a duly registered body that is non-partisan unlike the NUT.
In a January 7 petition addressed to the Governor, the NUT claimed that ASUSS was never a registered Trade Union and should be derecognised to prevent a breach of constitution.
The petition titled, ‘Illegal Collection of Check-off Dues By ASUSS- A Teachers’ Association Not Registered As a Trade Union,’ was signed by the NUT Chairman in the State, Comrade Samuel Akosile.
Attached to the petition were 1931 NUT’s Certificate of Incorporation, an October 5, 2007 letter signed by the Registrar of Trade Unions in the Federal Ministry of Labour, Mr. I.A. Fagbemi, and other documents relating to ASUSS’s alleged proscription in Ogun and Oyo States over non-compliance with registration rules and guidelines, among others.
The NUT appealed to Fayose to derecognise the body and refrain from inviting it to any meeting where issues relating to academic matters will be discussed.
It also sought government’s understanding on the need to stop the ASUSS from deducting check-off dues of members, saying the body lacked powers to exercise such, having not been properly registered according to Section 44 of the Trade Unions Act .
“This is to say that the ASUSS in Ekiti State should be proscribed as an illegal trade union, as done in Oyo and other States of the federation.
“It may be of interest to you sir, that the immediate past government, led by Dr Kayode Fayemi that claimed to be a product of law illegally granted recognition to ASUSS as a trade union. As such, this classroom association has been collecting check off dues knowing full well that they are not entitled to such legal right.
“Registration of a union by Corporate Affairs Commission does not amount to registration as a trade union because CAC only deals with Companies and Allied Matters and not Trade Unions.
“We hereby urge that you stop the remittance of check-off dues to ASUSS by TESCOM (Teachers Service Commission) through the office of Accountant General,” Akosile stated in the petition.
However, the ASUSS’s Chairman in Ekiti, Comrade Sola Adigun, in his reaction on Sunday appealed to Akosile and others to shelve divisive tendencies.
He claimed the body had since been registered since May 19, 2008 by the Federal Ministry of Labour, contrary to “false” claims by the NUT Chairman.
“There are salient questions to ask Akosile: Why did they sue the Federal Ministry of Labour in their suit before the High Court in Ekiti calling for ASUSS’s deregistration?
“The Trade Union Act 2004 as amended made it clear that the decision of the Minister shall be final on this matter and so shall it be.
“ASUSS in Ekiti is not a partisan body, but a pressure group that is concerned about the welfare of its members. We are ready to work with Governor Fayose to move Ekiti forward and that remains our focus as against NUT that is playing politics with everything.
“Akosile caused serious division during the first term of Governor Fayose and the same line he is toeing now. We appeal to him to stop dividing Ekiti teachers. Secondary school teachers in Ekiti have made the decision to join ASUSS and Akosile cannot and will not succeed in his plot to make them subservient in NUT,” Adigun added.
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