SADTU EC Media Statement on the gains for Grade R Practictioners
11 May 2021
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union in the Eastern Cape (SADTU-EC) wishes to express its excitement and pleasure in having fought fiercely and achieved a lot for the Grade R practitioners which we declared long time ago as vulnerable sector. We have practised what we preach and evidence speaks volumes for us.
SADTU Eastern Cape has had a very long journey with Grade R since 2015 when many at that time were earning nothing or meagre wages with no benefits. It was at the time when not so many were interested in their welfare and future. Amidst all that misery we embraced these comrades and gave them hope when they were hopeless and demoralised. Nevertheless, because SADTU is a caring organisation a lot has been achieved by this giant Union on their behalf. In the Eastern Cape we are writing our own history.
The achievements, including the latest ones, are as follows:
- We fought and won for their increment wherein sometimes they would get double increment in one year;
- We fought for the recognition of National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) as a teaching qualification;
- Fought for them to benefit in the skills development fund to upskill themselves as they are enrolling in institutions of higher learning;
- For those who were alleged to be owing the employer by institutions of higher learning we worked tirelessly for the scrapping of their debt and be unblocked to continue studying through the bursary fund;
- Ensured that their contracts were frequently renewed without fail;
- We fought, under very trying times, for the issuing of their bulletin in order to be permanent in the system and this did happen in 2020. It will continue to happen as their services continue to be needed and exist in schools.
- Many have since been absorbed in the Foundation Phase as permanent Educators meeting all the requirements; they are enjoying all benefits enjoyed by counterparts in the system whilst others continue to be employed permanently as Grade R teachers;
- Majority of them are now permanent in the system;
- We are currently verifying their qualifications with DHET for another intake to be made permanent;
- We defeated the syndrome of them being treated like tea girls if not helpers in schools;
- We won for them a drastic increment of stipend never been seen before as in the month of April, we were all filled with disbelief as we caused the employer to implement a ground-breaking increment for those not yet in the system/permanent;
- We have fought and won for their UIF as a benefit which they never enjoyed till we joined hands with them to avert those above sixty years leaving the system empty handed;
- These Comrades are recognized in the circles of our organization as they even attended the 2019 Congress and were part of resolving on all congress issues and they will not cease to enjoy that status. As Regions are busy implementing the Congress Resolutions that they will be part of all REC meetings as this is their home.
- We are currently pushing hard that the employer accepts and adopts the then proposed conditions of employment by Dr Govender and we will not rest till this becomes a reality;
- As SADTU EC, we shall not be deterred at all and we will not rest till all those who qualify are in the system.
SADTU Iya-Rocker; SADTU never sleeps at work; SADTU is the home for all Grade R Cdes and ECD Practitioners indiscriminately.
In SADTU we trust, for you will never walk alone
ISSUED BY: SADTU EC Secretariat
Provincial Secretary: Chris Mdingi - 0605834462
Deputy Provincial Secretary: Ntombodumo Maqashalala - 0605201447