13 February 2013

South Africa: SADTU Picket - a Success

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 We also demand that the rural allowance that has been withdrawn by Soobrayan without consultation in the ELRC, be reinstated.

The picket was the first phase of the rolling mass action by the Union.

We are happy with the support shown by COSAS on all our demands. We will work with them to promote quality public education for all. We want quality public education to be brought in first. We must all agree and adhere to the non-negotiables and as part of these, government has to provide resources.

SADTU is cautioning government against taking decisions in haste. We agree that education is the only effective tool that will take us out of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

We further call for:

Permanent appointment of temporary teachers in vacant substantive posts;

Equalization of pay progression;

Development of proper infrastructure – do away with mud schools – build laboratories and libraries at our township and rural schools;

Payment of norms and standards to schools;

Pay rural allowance to qualifying teachers;

Dismiss corrupt officials; and

Do away with overcrowding and review the current post provisioning and norms.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

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