17 October 2018
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) salutes the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) for concluding three crucial collective agreements that will ensure among others, the protection of the rights of a child and improve conditions of service of educators.
The ELRC presented the Agreements to the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in Parliament today. They are:
SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the Union, the largest in the education sector, signed the agreements that will ensure the permanent employment of teachers as part of providing quality education as a right to the children; ensure the re-employment of teachers and provide protection to learners from sexual predators.
“These agreements go a long way towards ensuring labour peace in the education sector and a safe environment for learners to expose teachers who sexually harass them,” Maluleke said.
The Collective Agreement No. 2 of 2018: Amendments to paragraph B 8.5.2 and Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM) seeks to regulate the re-appointment of educators after exiting the system. These teachers were barred from reappointment because of the current provisions in the PAM.
The Collective Agreement No. 4 of 2018 on the appointment and conversion of temporary educators to posts on the educator establishment provides for the employment security of temporary educators.
SADTU welcomes this Agreement with open arms as the issue of temporary educators has been a bone of contention between the Employer and the Union for quite some time. It led SADTU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to resolve in May this year that provinces should collate the information of temporary educators occupying substantive posts for three months and more and declare disputes on behalf of all those members
We welcome the fact that the Agreement will take precedence over all existing provincial agreements regulating the appointment and conversion of temporary educators, except for where the provisions in existing provincial agreements provide for more favourable conditions to those contained in the national agreement.
SADTU supports and welcomes the groundbreaking Collective Agreement No 3 of 2018 which provides for compulsory inquiries by arbitrators in cases of disciplinary action against educators charged with sexual misconduct in respect of learners. We hope this agreement will ensure that cases of sexual misconduct will be speedily resolved as it will streamline the process and provide a one-stop process through arbitration.
Arbitrators with sufficient experience in hearings involving minor children as witnesses and victims will be appointed to deal with these special cases. Intermediaries will also be appointed to aid the child victim or witness to give evidence. The principle of fairness in dealing with hearings is fundamental and this agreement ensures that the rule of law is sacrosanct.
The Constitution of the country which SADTU members respect is based on human rights. The Code of Conduct of SADTU which precedes the country’s Constitution was based on human rights and the protection of the learners from sexual harassment. The Code of Conduct adopted in 1990 prohibited a teacher from having a sexual relationship with the learner. We see this collective agreement as taking forward our Code of Conduct and Congress resolutions on teachers exploiting our children. Seeing our learners as sex objects is abhorred by our Union, SADTU. The teaching profession is about caring for the children and subjecting them to mental trauma on different platforms of hearings was unjustifiable and it had to come to an end.
“This Agreement will protect our children from those who see them as sex objects and take advantage of their depressive social and economic conditions. Our Code of Conduct, which clearly says no to sexual harassment of learners will finally find expression,” Maluleke said.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157