NASU seeks unionisation of employees in private schools

General Secretary of the union, Peters Adeyemi

General Secretary of the union, Peters Adeyemi

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has decried the non-unionization of employees in the privately owned higher educational institutions.

The General Secretary of the union, Peters Adeyemi, noted that the inaction of government to ensure workers in the privately owned institutions are allowed to belong to unions is a violation of the Section 40 of the Nigeria 1999 Constitution (As Amended 2011), which guarantees the right of every person to form and belong to any trade union or association for the protection of his or her interest.

He added that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 1948 (No. 87) guarantees the right of Freedom of Association and the right to organise and ILO Convention 1949 (No. 98) also guarantees the right to organise and collective bargaining.

The NASU scribe explained that even the Nigeria Trade Union Act guarantees the right of recognition of a trade union by an employer.

Adeyemi noted that attempts made to unionise workers in privately owned educational institutions, managements and proprietors of such institutions have scuttled particularly Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

The union called on the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity as the regulator of industrial relations in the country to ensure that those proprietors do not disrespect the Constitution, the trade union law and international conventions on the issue.

He hinted that the national headquarters has the mandate of the union to take all necessary administrative and legal actions aimed at unionising potential members of the union in private institutions.

The union also berated government for not honouring the tenets of the re-negotiated 2009 collective agreement and called for the release of necessary funds towards implementation of the agreement.

Adeyemi disclosed further that NASU would engage the Federal Government to release fund for the settlement of the twelve (12) months’ arrears of CONRAISS as approved in 2010 Agreement for Research Institute workers.

“The Government should be reminded that the Agreements had fallen due for re-negotiation and demand that necessary machinery be put in place to commence their re-negotiation without further delay, having fallen due of the Universities/Inter University Centres, since July, 2012; Colleges of Education, since February, 2012; Polytechnics since July, 2012 and the Research and Projects since December, 2013.

He added: “Government should urgently implement the Yayale Ahmed Presidential Committee Report on Harmony in the Health sector; government should pay the arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping without further delay.”

Adeyemi argued that in the spirit of collective bargaining, it is given that anyone who freely enters into a collective agreement is bound by the Agreement and is under an obligation to implement such agreement.

Adeyemi said non-teaching staffers deserve to board members of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and State Universal Basic Education Boards (SEBEB) as well as teaching service commission.

“Acknowledging the immense contribution of the non-teaching staff to the growth and development of education at the primary and post-primary levels of education. NASU is a major stakeholder in the system and had sought representation on the UBEC as well as the State SUBEC, which some States termed Teaching Service Commission/Boards.”

NASU urged state governments that are yet to make provisions for NASU representation to do so to enable her contribute towards the improvement in the schools system and that the Federal Ministry of Education should equally initiate a Bill to the National Assembly for the amendment and inclusion of NASU on the UBE Commission.

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