The GNAT works through two main structures, namely; Political and Administrative structures. The workings of the structures could be likened to the system of government operating in this country in the sense that, the government is constituted by the political set up namely, the Executive, that is, the Government, together with the Legislature (Parliament), formulates policies and determines policy direction, while the administrative set-up, that is, the Civil Service, executes the policies made by the political hierarchy.
While the elected officers of GNAT (Political Structure) are limited to a maximum of two (2) four-year terms, the administrative staff, including the General Secretary, are appointed and they retire at age sixty (60). While the Senior Staff is appointed by the National Council, on the recommendation of the National Executive, the Junior Staff is appointed by the National Executive, on the advice of the General Secretary. To understand how the two GNAT structures operate, it is important to note that basically, the Association operates or is organized around five different levels known as branches.
THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE. - See Political Organogram
The political structure is responsible for the formulation of policy and executive direction. In other words, it decides policy and provides direction for its execution. This structure is based on effective representation and carries the mandate of the members they represent. It is therefore necessary for members at the various levels to be seriously involved in electing worthy representatives to articulate their concerns and aspirations.
The various levels of the Association are:
- Basic Unit (School Branch)
The basic Unit (School Branch) at the grassroot is the educational establishment (i.e., school, college, education office). All teachers in such educational establishments are eligible to be members of the Association. The branch elects a leader (known as the School Representative) who co-ordinates the activities of the Association at the basic level, including attending meetings and participating in decision-making at the local level and carrying such decisions back to his or her school branch.
- Local Branch
The Local Branch is constituted by all the basic units (school branches) in any specific locality. The Local Branch is headed by the Local Chairman who coordinates the activities of the various school representatives.
- District Branch
The district branch is made up of all the local branches in a district. The Political authority at the District level is the District Chairman who presides over District Officers meetings, District Executive meetings, District Council meetings and District Delegates Conferences.
- Regional Branch
The Regional Branch is constituted by the branches (school branches, Local Branches and District Branches) in an administrative region. The Political authority at the Regional level is the Regional Chairman who presides over Regional Officers meetings, Regional Executive meetings, Regional Council meetings and Regional Delegates Conferences.
- National Level
All the regional branches together constitute the National Association. The National President heads the political structure of the Association, hence presides over National Officers meetings, National Executive meetings, National Council meetings, as well as National Delegates Conferences.
Delegates Conferences are the highest decision-making bodies of the Association at the various levels of the Association. Major decisions are taken at the conferences which are attended by accredited representatives of the members. Officers of the Association at the various levels are elected at these Conferences. Delegates Conferences are held every four (4) years at the District, Regional and National levels of the Organization. However, Conferences at the Local Level are held every two (2) years. Audited accounts, resolutions, strategic plans, activity reports, among others, are normally discussed at the Conferences. In other words, issues which come up for discussions at Conferences emanate from the grass-root level. It worthy to note that the National Delegates Conference is the highest decision making body of the GNAT and its decisions are supreme.
These are the governing bodies of the Association with the oversight responsibility for the Association, in the absence of the Delegates Conferences. In other words, the Councils are entrusted with the general oversight of the management and control of the Association, on day-to-day basis. Council ratifies decisions and acts of the National Executive; and has powers of interpretation of matters on which the GNAT Constitution and Rules are silent. It also has the power to create new districts or re-adjust boundaries of existing Districts. Council meetings are held, at least, once every year at the National, Regional and District Levels. However, Councils do not operate at the Local Level and the Basic Unit. The Local Executive performs the functions of a Council, as well as the functions of the Executive, at the Local Level.
The executive functions of the Association are vested in the Executive at all levels. The functions of the Executive include exercising general control over the management and administration of the Association, ensuring implementation of approved policies, programmes and projects, approving recommendations and reports of the National Officers, taking affirmative action to ensure effective participation in union activities by all members, especially females and the youth, and appointing examiners of accounts, among others. The Executive monitor the implementation of Council decisions and can review such decisions, as and when necessary. Executive members are elected at the Regional, District and Local levels, as spelt out by the GNAT Constitution. The Executive meet, at least, once every three months, at all the levels. The Executive are also expected to inform their constituents about decisions taken at their various levels. They are similarly expected to carry the concerns of their members on issues to the Secretariats and the Councils at their levels.
Officers of the Organization monitor the operational activities of the Secretariats at the National, Regional and District levels. The Officers meet, at least, once every month to, among other things, take or review important decisions in-between meetings of the Executive. This body is vested with the responsibility to transact business on behalf of GNAT, subject to the prior approval of the Executive and subsequent ratification by the Council. At the National Level, the Principal Officers are the National President, National Vice President, National Treasurer, 1st National Trustee and 2nd National Trustee. The National President is the Head of the Organization.
Statutory Sub - Commitees
Statutory Sub - Committees and adhoc Committees advise on matters and issues necessary. The Executive appoints Statutory Sub – Committee members at the National and Local Levels, while the Governing Council constitutes Statutory Sub – Committees at the Regional and District Levels. The GNAT Constitution allows for the constitution of Adhoc Committees, to address specific issues, as and when necessary.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE - See Administrative - Organogram
The administrative structure is responsible for the implementation of policies and programmes of the Association. It is headed by the General Secretary and assisted by not less than two (2) Deputy General Secretaries, Departmental Heads, Unit Heads, Regional Secetaries, Assistant Regional Secretaries, District Secretaries, Accounting, Secretarial, Clerical and other auxiliary staff. The administrative structure is responsible for the day-to-day performance of administrative functions of the Association. Members of the administrative structure are basically teachers who are appointed on full-time basis. While policy formulation is the preserve of the political structure, it does it with the advice and facilitation of the administrative staff, especially the General Secretary. The administrative structure of the GNAT is also organized around the five (5) levels as follows:
The administrative structure at the national level is headed by the General Secretary (Chief Executive Officer). As the Chief Executive Officer of the Association, the General Secretary advises the elected officers on policy formulation, implements approved policies, programmes and projects, leads the Association in negotiations, and assigns duties to all employees. The administrative structure at the national level oversees all admnistrative functions of the Association accross the country. It is important to note that all administrative staff report to the General Secretary and all communications are addressed to the General Secretary. The administrative functions at the National level are discharged at the National Secretariat popularly known as the GNAT Headquarters. The Secretariat is currently organized around two (2) main divisions, namely: Education and Professional Development and Administration and Labour Relations. The General Secretary is also the Chief Negotiator of the Association. He is assisted by two (2) Deputies, Heads of Departments, Heads of Units, Accounting, Clerical and other auxiliary staff at the Headquarters.
The administrative structure at the Regional Level coordinates activies of the various districts, locals and basic units under its jurisdiction. The administrative functions in the regions are coordinated by Regional Secretaries who are the representative of the General Secretary in the region. They basically offer technical advice to the Regional Chairmen, Officers, Executive, Council and the Regional Delegates Conference. The Regional Secretaries are assisted by Assistant Regional Secretaries, Accounts Officer, Clerical and other auxiliary staff. The employees of the Regional Hostels are appointed by the Regional Executive, on the reccommendations of the Regional Secretary.
The administrative structure at the district level implements policies and programmes as directed by the National Secretariat through the Regional Secretariat. All administrative functions of the district are implemented by the District Secretary. The District Secretary coordinates the activites of all the Locals and Basic Units under its jurisdiction. Unlike the Regional and National Levels, the District Secretary is the only full-time Staff of the association at the District Level. The District Secretary is the representative of the General Secretary in the District. The GNAT has District Secretariats accross the country, however a GNAT District may not necessarily be co-terminous with a District Education Directorate.
The administrative functions of the Locals are coordinated and managed by the District Secretary. It is important to note that, the Locals do not have full-time staff (Administrative Staff), hence they do not have permanent Secretariats.
The administrative functions of the Basic Unit are coordinated and managed by the District Secretary. The Basic Units do not have full-time staff of the Association, as well as permanent Secretariats.