The ASUSS versus NUT saga: shining the light on the former and its legitimacy*.
KATSINA STATE CHAPTER.
Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) Nigeria, formerly known as Conference of Secondary School Tutors (COSST) was formed nationally in the year 2000 with the national Headquarters at No 30 Urubi Street, opposite Chief Ero’s palace Benin City, Edo State. Conference of Secondary School Tutors (COSST) was the first popularly known adopted name of the union however it was later on the 30th July 2005 at its 13th National Convention held at Abeokuta Holiday Inn, the Delegates ratified the adoption of a new name known as ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS (ASUSS) NIGERIA.
ASUSS National trustee then appealed to the Honourable Minister of Labour and on the 19th May 2008, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity (whose prerogative by law, it is to determine the registration and existence of any Trade Union) approved the registration of ASUSS as a trade union and the Registrar of Trade Union acknowledged the approval on 28th May 2008 and thus, thereafter became affiliated to Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria.
Just for emphasis, the content of the letter conveying the approval of the registration of ASUSS as a trade union which NUT is challenging is unequivocal, unambiguous, clear and not subject to multiple interpretations; The title of the said stated as follows: “Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools of Nigeria (ASUSS) – Approval of Registration” and the said letter read thus in part: ” I have been directed to convey the approval of the Hon. Minister of Labour for the registration of the above-named association as a Trade Union.”
ASUSS registration is the premise on the provisions of the law which include:
Section 40 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) of Nigeria.
Section 2 of Trade Union Amendment Act of 2005 Section 51 which supersedes Section 3(2) and 5(4) of the Trade Union Act CAP 437 of 1990 ILO Provisions of Convention No. 87 and 98 of 1949 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to organize which Nigeria as a nation ratified in 1960.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF ASUSS
1. The main aim and objectives of this great union are to ensure the unity and progress among all the Secondary School Tutors/Instructors in the employment of both State and Federal Government including the Federal Capital Territory.
2. As well as to improve their social and economic well-being, to defend and uphold the tradition and efficiency of Nigeria Secondary School Tutors, to effectively actualize the attainment of the National Policy of Education.
3. To improve education and teaching profession and remove any impediment, anomalies and any regulation detrimental to educational advancement and progress of tutors in Nigeria.
4. To cooperate with other Unions with similar interests within the country/state.
5. To negotiate whenever and wherever occasions demand the opinion of members of the union on matters directly or indirectly relating to terms and conditions of employment of tutors of the state government and federal or any other matters which is of common interest and benefits to the generality of the members.
6. To give leadership and stimulate interest in matters which foster National Unity and Understanding as well as safeguarding and protecting the rights and privileges of the members.
For over a decade, NUT has been depriving of the right of COSST/ASUSS on several occasions both at the state and federal levels. This has contributed to the abysmal performance of pupils and students at both levels. Take, for example, if civil servants in Nigeria, in the employment of both state and federal government could be grouped into two unions namely Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) affiliated to NLC and Association of Senior Civil Servants Union of Nigeria (ASCSN) affiliated to TUC, while civil servants in the employment of local government are under NULGE, it is therefore expedient to regroup teachers in secondary and primary schools into ASUSS and NUT respectively. This will achieve teacher’s excellence, professionalism, quality, discipline, rewards and dignity of international standard.
In conclusion; Presently, Secondary School Teachers in over 25 states in Nigeria have formerly accepted the membership of ASUSS with full support as their substantive union ready to serve for their welfare and to defend their interest in cordial relations with government, agencies and all the available avenues supported by law.
Finally, it will be expedient to note here that from the foregoing, actions, and utterances of NUT leaders at the National, State and Branch levels it becomes clear that the NUT objection to ASUSS is borne out of personal and selfish considerations and not out of genuine and objective concern for Secondary School Teachers in the particular and secondary education sector in general.
ASUSS: Forward Ever!
TUTORS: Are Resilient!
ASUSS Press Crew