SADTU picket at Department of Basic Education Headquarters

12 February 2013

SADTU has described its picket outside the headquarters of the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria on Tuesday, 12 February 2013, as a success. The picket - calling for among other things, the dismissal of the Department’s Director General Bobby Soobrayan attracted close to 1000 members.

Addressing the picketers who were dressed in red t-shirts and brandished posters written NO TO MUD SCHOOLS, FIRE BOBBY SOOBRAYAN, ABSORB TEMPORARY TEACHERS, PAY THE MARKERS, DEVELOP PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION, AWAY WITH DECLARING EDUCATION AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE; SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke sent a strong message to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga that SADTU will not allow education to be declared an essential service because the department has no capacity under Bobby Soobrayan (the Department’s Director General) to ensure that all the resources needed in our schools are there. ”Bobby does not have the competency, capacity and will to ensure that textbooks are in classrooms. We cannot leave Bobby to head this department, Bobby must go” Maluleke said.

In the four years Soobrayan has been in office, only two collective agreements have been signed and both agreements are not implemented. Soobrayan is undermining collective bargaining by not implementing the agreements; one being the agreement to increase the rates of markers. Bobby is a failure. We demand that markers be paid as per the agreement we have signed. We also demand that the rural allowance that has been withdrawn by Soobrayan without consultation in the ELRC, be reinstated.