SADTU NEC Media Press Statement

19 February 2010

SADTU endorses Cosatu`s call for a lifestyle audit of political leaders; urges ANC President Zuma to be more visible in his defence of Secretary General Gwede Mantashe; will vigorously resist any attempt to curtail labour rights; rejects proposed Post Provisioning Norms which entrench the inequalities of the past; concerned that the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign is not getting off the ground in the DA-controlled Western Cape province.

SADTU National Executive Council (NEC) met over two days from 18-19 February 2010 at The Lakes Hotel in Benoni and resolved on the following issues below:

The present political conjuncture: corruption and anti-communism

SADTU NEC expressed concern at the growing evidence of a right-wing faction at work within the ranks of the liberation movement with the clear intent of destabilizing the Tripartite Alliance. Our concerns include:

  • Mounting evidence of corruption within our movement and the continuing feeding frenzy for tenders and concessions as the parasitic black bourgeoisie continues its strategy of buying political influence to build personal fortunes. We therefore endorse COSATU`s call for a lifestyle audit of political leaders, both in government and in the wider Alliance
  • Unwarranted attacks on the SACP and COSATU - the spear and the shield of the working class; in particular, the targeting of Comrade Gwede Mantashe, Secretary-General of the ANC to unseat him in 2012. We believe he has been targeted in part because of his leadership role in the SACP and his historical links to the labour movement. Equally his firm stance against corruption remains a thorn in the side of the parasitic black bourgeoisie and their allies in the liberation movement. We call upon President Zuma to be visible in the defence of comrade Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe.
  • We abhor the actions by COPE and company in undermining the presidency. We therefore reaffirm the presidency of comrade Zuma.

NEC calls on all SADTU members to continue to participate in all structures of the Alliance and to safeguard the liberation movement against this latest manifestation of the 1996 class project (tenderpreneurs);

The proposed new PPN (Post Provisioning Norms)

SADTU NEC unequivocally rejected the proposed PPN which pays lip service to being pro-poor, but in fact entrenches many of the inequalities of the past:

  • It retains the weightings in favour of ‘small class subjects` which favours the best resourced schools
  • It seeks to penalize under-resourced schools with insufficient classrooms by cutting their posts
  • It ignores the real situation on the ground whereby a wealthy minority of government schools raise millions of rands in user fees which enable them to employ additional teachers, further diverting resources from the disadvantaged schools
  • It does nothing to redress the curriculum, staffing, infrastructural and resource imbalances between the historically disadvantaged schools and the best resourced schools.
  • The new PPN excludes Grade R with the result that the roll out of Grade R is chaotic. There is no control over class sizes on the one hand, whilst SGBs are employing child minders for these children at 1/6th of the pay of a teacher.
  • The post provisioning model must include support staff – security, cleaners, administrative staff as well as librarians, counselors – who are conspicuously absent in disadvantaged schools.

Roll out of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC)

SADTU is successfully rolling out the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, with most teachers now aware of their roles and responsibilities. Our starting point is that teachers be on time, teaching, well prepared and professionally behaved at all times. We are calling on the Department of Education to live up to its responsibilities by providing basic infrastructure, learning materials and facilitating teacher development and support.

Learners/parents and communities be mobilized by union structures together with the Department of Education. We are aware that all the provinces are taking part in the campaign except the DA in the Western Cape.

Post Teacher Development Summit process

NEC called for a speedy conclusion of the post-Summit process to develop ‘a new, strengthened, integrated national plan for teacher development.` The plan is based on the premise that teachers must be evaluated in order to identify their needs for training and development.

The NEC rejects any attempt to reintroduce the old apartheid style inspectorate. We are calling for the system of evaluation that is developmental in nature.

ELRC collective agreement no.8 of 2003, on IQMS remains a guiding tool in monitoring and evaluation of educators. Anything new must be subjected to ELRC processes.

The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB)

The NEC pledged to support the NASGB to expand its activities throughout the country.

The DA attack on labour rights

NEC expressed disgust at the DA`s call for the removal of the educators` right to strike. As champions of racial and class privilege, the DA`s opposition to labour rights and strong trade unionism comes as no surprise.

The DA`s call was based largely on a superficial reading of the Tokiso Review which states that 42% of workdays lost due to strike action in the period 1995-2009 were attributable to SADTU. In fact the Review lists the ten most strike-prone unions: SADTU is not even on the list. The Review also analyses strike frequency by sector. Taken together, education and health account for only 2% of all strikes.

SADTU will vigorously resist any attempt to curtail labour rights and a return to the pre-1994 dispensation.

Regarding salaries and conditions

SADTU is currently consulting with its members to obtain mandates for the 2010 salary negotiations. In the meantime, SADTU is assisting tens of thousands of members to follow up on anomalies with the Department of Education regarding implementation of OSD (Occupation Specific Dispensation).

Teacher wellness

SADTU continues with its Prevention Palliative Care and Orphan and Vulnerable Children intervention programme in all the nine provinces.

Issued by: SADTU Secretariat