The Secondary School Academic Staff Union, (ASUSS), has criticized claims by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) that some state governors who are not paying teachers’ salaries are misleading and using some members ASUSS separatists to destabilize the 90-year-old Union.
ASUSS also rebutted NUT’s position that the Supreme Court in its ruling of January 15, 2021, refused to grant secondary school teachers operating under the ASUSS umbrella the power to operate as a union.
In a statement issued to DAILY POST on Thursday by ASUSS National President, Comrade Samuel Omaji, through Kogi State Union President, Comrade Ranti Ojo, the union maintained that the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment or any court of The competent jurisdiction has not canceled the approval of ASUSS as a union, as NUT stated in a press conference last week.
Omaji in a statement titled, “AN AMATEUR CRY; THE AGONY OF A LOOSER ”challenged NUT management to name the governors who sponsored them, just as it described the statement from its sister union as laughable and ridiculous.
He said that those who view ASUSS as a threat and use the resources of poor teachers to parley government officials and initiate multi-million dollar litigation in naira against their sister union are the ones who bargain with the lives and well-being of teachers for their selfish interest.
ASUSS explained that “it is convenient for us to discredit the falsehoods that NUT projected in the Supreme Court ruling of January 15, 2021 that is still shaking the leadership of the NUT on which they have rigorously flooded the public with different versions of interpretations through a heavily sponsored media plan, including articles, news, and editorials.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that the Supreme Court ruling of January 15, 2021 was in favor of the Secondary School Academic Staff Union (ASUSS) Nigeria as it overturned and overturned the judgment of the Court of Appeal of July 11, 2014 I hereby declare categorically that the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment or any court of competent jurisdiction has not canceled the approval of ASUSS as a union.
“We consider it ridiculous and laughable that NUT, a union that has been in control for almost nine decades, alleges that a union like ASUSS that has been making undeniable positive and progressive impacts on the lives of its members is being sponsored by“ governors who are not paying teachers’ salaries ”.
“If the NUT leaders are sincere, let them be brave enough to list those governors. We are here to challenge you that how many of the repressive governors backing NUT to suppress ASUSS right of existence are paying a salary and doing well in terms of teacher welfare? Who sponsored NUT when teachers were not paid for several months across the country?
The statement further read: “How does ASUSS formation and union existence affect NUT? The establishment of ASUSS, which is legally justified, as noted, is an added value for the education sector rather than being perceived as a threat. In the tertiary education sector, all levels have their unions. In the health sector, there are more than 12 unions and the sky has not broken.
“Fear of impending death and total loss of control is the reason the crop of NUT leaders have been busy fighting ASUSS while leaving their members mired in trauma. They should never see our belief in a decent and peaceful approach to our liberation as an act of cowardice, but rather as a way of making them realize that we can peacefully coexist and create synergies for the development of education.
“If NUT’s jurisdictional scope is like what it claims, why isn’t NUT unionizing teachers from federal government universities and Unity schools, private elementary and high schools? Doesn’t NUT know that the union registrar has issued a registration certificate to private school teachers or is this a deliberate design to misinform the public?
“We are tempted to say that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) lacks adequate information on this matter. As teachers, we recommend that you seek more information. “It will be in the public’s interest if NUT can help us, who are its members in high schools in more than twenty-five states where ASUSS is in control.”
The ASUSS leadership, however, thanked the Nigerian Supreme Court for demonstrating that the judiciary is the common man’s last hope and the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment for seeing the authenticity in ”our movement to emancipate teachers from secondary schools in Nigeria for granting approval to our union registration ”.