08 NOVEMBER 2023
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union in KwaZulu Natal on the 31st of October made a statement indicating that SADTU would be convening meetings with the Department whilst members were to picket as a way of putting pressure on the department to pay the financial allocations to schools (commonly known as norms and standards). It is now known that SADTU had a meeting with the Department wherein the Head of Department was reporting on progress regarding their responses to the memorandum of demands which was delivered during the march on the 13 October 2023. This meeting was on the 6th of November 2023 wherein the Department presented as follows:
•The Department has secured a guarantee to receive 78% from National Treasury in respect of compensation of employees as a result of salary adjustments impacted by Resolution 1 of 2023 of PSCBC.
•That the department has to wait for processes of transferring this money before they can process pay progression. However, the department has already requested National to assist through programmatic payment at a central point as it was done last year
•That Grade R stipend adjustments must be effected together with their stipends end of November 2023. This will be calculated guided by the PSCBC Resolution 1 OF 2023.
•The department has already started capturing and releasing payments for school allocations. It is expected that some schools will start receiving from early next week. Cash blocking which is a control mechanism will delay the payment of everything that is owed to schools. Therefore,2 schools will be paid in tranches. The Union is comfortable with the agreed timeframes.
Based on this information a Special Provincial Executive Committee meeting was convened on the 8th of November 2023 wherein an update was presented. PEC then resolved as follows:
•That pickets must be called off and all members go back to continue with their work
•That whilst this is happening, leadership (PWC and ROB) hold bilateral meetings to monitor progress on the implementation of the above. Part of what is to be monitored is the assistance that the Department promised to provide to schools that did not comply with audits which means that these schools may not receive their allocations at all until they comply. The envisaged assistance is to ensure that these schools must be able to administer internal examinations.
•All members are therefore expected to administer internal examinations.
SADTU in KZN also wish to thank members who committed to the programme and ensured that the matric examination was not disrupted in any way. This programme was meant to ensure that the department focuses on supporting schools, ensuring that school allocations are paid. This was not a selfish programme and it must be understood that it was decided after numerous engagements with the department which had failed to honour their obligations to schools. It is also important to indicate that on the 6th of November SADTU had a meeting with FEDSAS, NASGB, PAKZN, SANASE to give information regarding reasons why the union had embarked on this action. It comforted SADTU that all these organisations supported SADTU on issues that were raised.
These organisations indicated that even themselves had raised the same issues as early as April 2023 but to this far there is no response from the Department. COSAS, a student organisation also issued a statement raising same concerns.
It is understood that some parents were concerned (correctly so) about the decision of SADTU but unfortunately the union was forced by the obtaining situation and state of affairs. As the department is beginning to pay schools, 3 parents and learners stand to benefit. The Union also want to condemn the conduct which is alleged to have happened in some picketing points where it is alleged that some picketers conducted themselves in an unbecoming way. SADTU had on numerous occasions during the action emphasised on picket rules and the code of good practice in line with ELRC Collective Agreement 1 of 2017.
Members and those who supported the action will be briefed from time to time regarding developments as we will be monitoring implementation of decisions.
Nomarashiya Caluza (Provincial Secretary) : 082 611 7027
Jabulani Nxumalo (Deputy Provincial Secretary) : 082 611 7028