SADTU welcomes the biginning of the 2019 academic year

8 January 2019

South Africa’s biggest union in the education sector, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) welcomes all teachers and learners back to school when the academic year begins on 9 January 2019.

We expect teachers to be in class, on time, prepared and professionally behaved. By the same token, the Department should ensure that the basic infrastructure, learning and teaching materials are available so that effective teaching begins on the first day of school. Late registrations and admissions often delay the timeous start of effective learning and teaching.  We therefore appeal to parents to play their part by ensuring that they register their children on time.

A happy worker is a productive worker:

We are aware many teachers begin the year disheartened due to the employer’s failure to pay the 0,3% pay progression which was due to come into effect in July 2018.  When that did not happen, we took the matter up and were promised payment by December 2018 retrospectively from 1 July 2018. December came and the money was not paid.

Failure to honour signed collective agreements shows utter contempt for the processes that were put in place to ensure labour peace.

As teachers go back to school, the Union will use every avenue at its disposal to have this matter addressed with the urgency it deserves. We are giving the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) a few days to communicate with the teachers and TVET lecturers the real reasons why there was no payment and these departments are allowing the National Treasury to undermine the collective agreements under their watch. They must tell the workers why they undermine labour peace.

We believe the two Collective Agreements signed in October last year to ensure the re-employment of teachers will go a long way towards ensuring labour peace and provision of quality education. Collective Agreement No. 4 of 2018 ensures the appointment and conversion of temporary educators to posts on the educator establishment. It provides employment security of temporary educators.

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.

We are going to prioritise the plight of lecturers at TVET Colleges and universities and work towards improving the conditions of vulnerable workers in our sector including Early Childhood and Development (ECD) and Adult Education and Training (EAT) practitioners.

We are going to wage a campaign for ECD to be under the direct control of the Department of Basic Education. We believe this will improve the quality of the curriculum in this phase and the conditions of service of teachers in this sector.

School safety:

The year 2018 saw an increase in incidents of violence in schools and the issue of school safety was once again thrust into the spotlight. The Department of Basic Education, together with the Teacher Unions and all stakeholders in education convened a Schools Safety Summit to trash out the issue of violence in our school.

One of our proposals presented before the Summit, which we are going to launch this year, is the campaign aimed at ensuring that communities and society in general, protect and support schools. Called, “I am a School Fan”, the campaign will seek to mobilise all stakeholders in education to defend and protect schools as one would towards a sport team they supported. “I am a School Fan” seeks to reorient the country’s view on education. It seeks to mobilize every sector of our society to be part of the solution by acting against violence directed at schools. When teachers are attacked, the nation is attacked. When teachers live in fear in their workplaces, the nation lives in fear. When communities become fans of their schools, they make education to be fashionable and the nation lives in peace.

In conclusion:

SADTU’s National Office Bearers (NOB’s) will, on the first day of school, visit schools across provinces to monitor the readiness for the 2019 academic year.

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.