COSATU KZN fully agrees supports NEHAWU in its intention to intensify the ongoing TVET strike. The unwillingness and arrogance displayed by the Department of Higher Education & Training against workers in the Technical & Vocation Education & Training, as well as in the Community Education & Training Colleges is intolerable.
As part of supporting the strike on the picket lines, the KZN Province will encourage other affiliated unions to give solidarity to NEHAWU and work very closely with workers in the TVET sector.
We further urge our unions in the sector to proactively and constructively engage each other and work collectively for solidarity in advancing the course of our workers.
It is our considered view that workers should push the government to use this strike to resolve the long outstanding challenges facing workers, and the children from the poor families in TVETs and CET.
Some of the demands by workers have been on the table for many years, and failure to address them is a reflection of the lack of capacity by our state and their indifference on issues that affect the children of the poor.
This is a major problem that will contribute negatively in the struggle to defend our democratic dispensation.
We strongly believe that some of these following demands by the union are more urgent and reasonable: Permanent employment for contract workers, the introduction of the new salary dispensation in TVETs & CETs for harmonization, and proper management of examinations, including timely issuing of certificates.
COSATU in KZN has been active in the Human Resource Development Council, the Technical Working Group and the Special Task Team which investigated the causes of violent protests in Tertiary Institutions. Amongst the issues raised were the following: the lack of communication within colleges, safety and security of students and staff, breach of human rights, issues of accommodation, management of NSFAS Programme.
We note with serious concerns that the government ears seem to be deaf on these matters which have been persistently raised by workers.
We call on the government to do the right thing and resolve the issues that are being raised by the workers. If we are to realize the goal of making TVETs and CETs an irresistible choice of learning for our children in South Africa, our government must stop the arrogance, put aside the egos and engage the union for the sake of the poor children.
Issued by COSATU KZN
082 399 7756