by John Alechenu
The Nigeria Union of Teachers has threatened to confront the Federal Government for luring some of its members into the Association of Senior Civil Servants in an attempt to deny the body its check-off dues.
NUT National President, Michael Olukoya, indicated this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, in Abuja on Friday.
Olukoya warned that the union’s battle to reclaim its lost membership may be fierce after it successfully won over teachers in Federal Government Colleges who applied to re-join the NUT.
He said, “They have willingly filled our forms of membership and we are bound to request the Federal Ministry of Education to stop remitting the check-off dues of teachers in the Unity Schools to any group other than the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
“We bring this matter before you, believing that this ministry may be involved in the fight if it is not settled amicably.”
On the issue of retirement age, the union said the recent concession given to university lecturers to retire at 70 years should also apply to members of the NUT.
He said the NUT would appreciate it if the retirement age for its members was reviewed upwards to 65 years, at least.
With regard to the 27.5 per cent allowance, Olukoya said, “We wish to assure you that a declaration of trade dispute with the Federal Ministry of Education is unavoidable except you prevail on the ministry to implement the 27.5 per cent Teachers Professional Allowance to our colleagues in the Federal and State Unity Schools.”
In his response, the labour minister assured the union that government will do everything possible within the law to ensure that it meets its obligations to workers.
Wogu said government was working out modality to ensure that workers reciprocate its gesture by increasing in productivity.
He said, “The issues you have raised will be addressed. The President is concerned about the welfare of all workers and as he has always said, he will pursue policies that will enhance the welfare of all citizens.”
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