16 December 2016
The South African Democratic Teachers Union has scored a major victory in the Port Elizabeth Labour Court following an application it made to compel the Education Department to pay the salaries of teachers and to reverse a decision of the former Acting Head of Department Ms Sizakele Netshiphalala to terminate the services of educators she claimed were appointed irregularly.
The department has over many years failed to pay salaries timeously or at all. One of the educators SADTU represented had not been paid her salary for 11 months when SADTU launched the urgent application. She and many others have since the launch of the application been paid after the Department requested a postponement in October 2016. As a result of this application many other members of SADTU have reported that their salaries have now been paid.
Prior to the matter being heard on the 14th December 2016, SADTU and the Department reached an agreement in terms whereof:
1.1. The department undertook to ensure that every educator who was appointed, assumed duty and rendered a service and who has not been paid will be paid her or his salary within 45 days. This means that the department now has 45 to ensure that no educator is owed a salary.
1.2. The letters terminating the services of 3 educators which the department sought to terminate alleging that they were not properly appointed are withdrawn. These educators are qualified educators recommended by the School Governing Bodies after the interview process. The Head of Department had approved their appointments but later turned around alleging that they did not have the degrees specified in the advertisement. Although the educators do not have those specific degrees they have the degrees which meet the requirements for appointment as educators.
In terms of the settlement agreement which was made an order of the court these educators will now be put in other posts in the schools in which they presently are or transferred to others schools.
In terms of the court order SADTU is required to provide a list to the department of all others educators affected by the former HoD`s decision to terminate their services within 20 days where-after the department must make a determination in respect of each educator.
The court order further states that these educators will be placed or transferred to other schools. Therefore no qualified educator will lose their jobs.
SADTU therefore calls upon all educators regardless of whether they are SADTU members or not and who have not yet been paid or have received letters of termination to visit their nearest SADTU branch and provide their information to enable SADTU to compile and submit the list to the department.
SADTU will not hesitate to enforce this court order should the department not meet its obligation and fully comply with order of court.
As SADTU celebrates this victory of her members and educators in general, SADTU wishes to restate her resolve as per Pillar of Vision 2030 to vigorously fight and defend the rights of members. The outcome of this application is evidence of this resolve.
SADTU Eastern Cape Provincial Task Team
For enquiries: Provincial Administrators
Sindisile Zamisa- 0605875786
Chris Mdingi- 0605834462