HomeNewsLabour leaders fume over tenure limitation circular

Labour leaders fume over tenure limitation circular

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By Victor AhiumaYoung

Organised Labour in the nation’s public sector unions has raised uproar over a circular from the Office of the Head of Service, HoS, of the Federation, limiting the tenure of union officers to two terms of four years each, describing the circular as not only illegal, but a nullity.

According to Labour leaders, the circular is toxic, aberration and an interference in the internal affairs of trade unions, contrary to known laws and international standards.

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Reacting, General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Vice President Public Service International, PSI, Prince Peters Adeyemi, said: “It is inconsistent with relevant trade union laws and a violation of the provisions in the federal government approved constitutions of industrial unions.

The circular is a nullity and cannot stand the text of time. The office of the HoS is usurping the functions of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. The HoS is overstepping her bounds.”

Similarly, the President of Amalgamated Union of Public Cooperation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, Benjamin Anthony, among others claimed “the circular was smuggled in because during the discussing of the Public Service Rule, PSR with Labour at Public Service Institute nothing like that was discussed.”

Another public sector union leader who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the circular as not only toxic, but against the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Convention 87, saying “The circular violates the provisions of ILO’s Convention 87 which guarantees the freedom of Association and protection of the rights to organize for workers and employers. It is also enshrined in section 40 of the 1999 constitution. Articles 1, 2, 3, and 4 among others of Convention 87 guarantee the right of workers and employers to exercise these rights without interference from the government.”

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Recall that the public sector unions had earlier rejected a circular dated August 1, 2023, and a reminder dated November 30, 2023, contending among others, that “As a matter of fact and law, Trade Unions are registered according to the provisions of Trade Unions Act which clearly provides for tenures of Executives of Trade Unions thus, appointment and removal of union Executives are not within the purview of the office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation.”

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Among the affected unions are the Amalgamated Union of Public Cooperation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, NASU, Nigeria Civil Service Union, NCSU, Nigeria Union of Public Service Reportorial, Secretarial, Data Processors and Allied Workers, NUPSRAW, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM.

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