The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) is once more offended by the delaying tactics of the Department of Basic Education towards the speedy resolution of Minister Angie Motshekga’s decision to unilaterally withdraw Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 that would increase the tariffs for markers.

SADTU together with other unions in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) approached the Labour Court on 12 March, 2013 to have the termination of the Agreement declared unfair and unlawful. The matter was set down for hearing today, 13 March 2013.

To our dismay, the Department of Basic Education came to court unprepared; they failed to file their answering affidavit on time. The matter could therefore not be heard and was postponed to Tuesday, 26 March 2013. The department will only file their answering affidavit tomorrow, Tuesday 19 March 2013.

We fail to understand how the Minister was not ready to answer our application when she terminated the Agreement as far back as the 3rd of March 2013.

We are still baffled by the fact that nothing has been done to the Director General Bobby Soobrayan who allegedly signed the Collective Agreement without following proper internal processes.  Our members are suffering as a result of the Director General’s conduct and the future of our Grade 12 learners is at risk as our members are not going to administer and mark both the supplementary and final examination scripts for the year 2013.   

No amount of lies and name calling by the “Acting Minister” Panyaza Lesufi will deter us from our cause.  For Lesufi to go on air and mislead the public by announcing that the responsible officials have been issued with final written warnings, whereas the Minister informed us that the matter was under investigation is absurd to say the least. His utterances show how little his understanding, if any, of the importance of labour peace in education. To him this is an opportunity to demonstrate to the public how less important the teachers are. To this “acting minister”, collective bargaining plays no role in creating a conducive environment for quality education.

We wish to thank our members for heeding our call to adopt the “Work to Rule” position.  We will continue to mobilise our members until the Minister and the Director General tender their resignations.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat