By Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti
Cash and gifts worth N4 million were distributed to 64 retirees including retired Tutors -General by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) in Ekiti State recently as part of the activities marking this year World Teachers’ Day by the union in the state.
The gifts which include: industrial sewing machine, water dispensers, mattresses, gas cookers, electric stoves as well as cash of N500,000 were distributed to members who had subscribed to welfare scheme of the union during the event tagged: 6th annual award day and send-off ceremonies, with the theme: ‘Valuing Teachers, improving on their status’ held in Ado Ekiti parmanent site of the union secretariat along Ikere road, at the state capital.
Among eminent personalities present at the occasion were: the state Head of Service, Dr Olugbenga Faseluka; wife of the state Governor, Mrs Feyipitan Fayose who was represented by Hon Cecilia Dada, member of Ekiti State House of Assembly; and the former Minister of Aviation, Hon. Omotoba Babatunde who chaired the occasion with Mrs Akinola Stella Abiodun, the chairperson.
The Chairman of the union, Comrade Sola Adigun said the Ekiti ASUSS decided to appreciate members’ contributions, commitment, and dogged effort at raising generations of professionals so as to encourage others and to also demonstrate that “indeed there is reward for hard work”
“It is to appreciate your over three decades of commitment to raising generations of professionals with ideals of of peace. Mutual respect and understanding of the society. It is to also remind other professionals in service that someday, they would be so accorded”.
Adigun who commended Governor Ayo Fayose for promoting industrial harmony among the unions in the education sector in the state, where “the Governor personally midwifed the truce between the ASUSS and its mother union, the NUT,” equally congratulated, Ekiti teachers, parents, and the state Governor for the recently announced impressive performance of candidates from Ekiti in this years NECO examination.
He also expressed appreciation to the Governor for the provision of pensionable job to the wife of a late member, Comrade Akinboye, who was gruesomely murdered a year ago on his way to work,” we thank the Governor for lifting of suspension on teachers that were suspended in Elo High School, Ayetoro, we thank the Governor for the cash gift and compensatory employment for the husband of the teacher for returning the excess of her overpaid allowances”
In its request, the ASUSS pleaded with the Governor to pay up their backlog of arrears of salaries, look into resolving the backlog of promotions of secondary school teachers, as well, as the issue of shortage of teachers in the secondary schools across the state, through conversion of qualify teachers at the primary levels, considering the dearth of resources to recruit new teacher at present.
“We solicit for government sponsorship of seminars for secondary school tutors to improve their status, we also passionately and humbly, seek government support in the construction of our secretariat; we request that our government provide a union vehicle for us as enjoyed by our sister union,” he said.
While appealing to the government to facilitate the process of membership status of teachers who have voluntarily expressed interest in ASUSS, as many of such are pending in the last two years, Adigun however promised on behalf of other teachers to continue to do their best and give all the necessary supports to the Government in order to continue to record more success in education sector of the state, saying” to whom much is given, much is required”
Responding, the Head of Service promised to pass their request across to the Governor. He however urged them to continue to show understanding with the government by being “supportive rather than waring against the government.
Faseluka who promised that all their requests would be attended to by the Government, noted that some of these requests are already being attended to by the Governor, adding that the Governor on his own part has already given directive on issue bothering on the promotion and arrears being owed teachers but were being delayed by bureaucracy, and due process”
The Chairman of the occasion, Babatunde Omotoba who donated N250, 000 cash to assist the Union, used the occasion to preach love and unity among members of the association, adding that with love they will continue to grow higher, and higher.
The former Chairman of the Association, Com. Tope Ajibola who also spoke on behalf of the pioneer chairman of the union in the state, Barr Biodun Ogunleye expressed delight that what they laboured for during the time when things were tough and rough for the union, has now grown big and still waxing strong, promising to continue to render his assistance to the union whenever the need arises.