The extraordinary general assembly of the Union of All Education Professionals (S.TO.P), contested by former leaders of that structure, approved the dismissal of the management bodies and elected new provisional bodies, with André Pestana remaining as coordinator, this was announced Sunday.
In a press release sent to the Lusa agency, S.TO.P stated that on Saturday, in the auditorium of the Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (CHUC), more than 250 members participated in the extraordinary general assembly, called by members, including André Pestana, who led the union’s previous leadership.
In the provisional committees now elected, André Pestana remains as coordinator of the S.TO.P, Sandra Teixeira will preside over the assembly table, and Delmira Figueiredo will lead the supervisory board, the S.TO.P leader told Lusa.
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In the statement, S.TO.P states that more than 95% of the members present at that general meeting voted in favor of dismissing the management bodies elected on March 30, 2022 (fulfilling the requirement of a qualified majority of two thirds provided for in the statutes ).
Also, more than 95% of the members present elected a single list for the provisional committees for the three bodies of the S.TO.P (table of the general assembly, management and supervisory board), which took office at the same assembly, said the press release .
According to the statement, new elections for the managing bodies of the S.TO.P will have to take place within 60 days.
Despite the statement stating that the dismissal of the previous management bodies and the election of provisional committees were a fait accompli, several members of the now dismissed management dispute the legality of that general meeting.
“It was not a general assembly because it did not in any way comply with what is stipulated in the statutes of the S.TO.P for a general assembly or extraordinary assembly”, Carla Piedade, who was part of the previous board, told the Lusa agency, referring to that, in the case of a request for an extraordinary general meeting, it would have to reach the president of the assembly board, “which did not happen”.
Carla Piedade highlights that, as this did not happen, all other procedures planned prior to an extraordinary general meeting were not followed or carried out.
According to the former leader, “the appropriate measures” to be taken are being studied to safeguard “the interests of S.TO.P and its associates”.
In response, André Pestana highlighted to Lusa that he has proof that the 203 signatures of members requesting an extraordinary general meeting were delivered to the union’s headquarters.
“We are clearly absolutely certain that the president [da mesa da assembleia] had knowledge [do pedido de convocatória]. If you didn’t want to go to the union headquarters or contact someone at the table, that’s your option. It did not comply with the statutes, but the members could not be held hostage by a possible bad faith attitude by the president of the board”, she highlighted.
According to the S.TO.P coordinator, the Civil Code provides that when the assembly board does not call the meeting requested by the members, they have “legitimacy to call the assembly”.
“There was clear participation and desire in this general assembly. The members gave a very clear response and took back power”, he stressed.
Asked whether internal issues could divert S.TO.P from focusing on the struggle of education professionals, André Pestana stressed that the large participation in the assembly demonstrates “the vitality and determination” of the union to defend public schools.
“We have a clear conscience,” he added.
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