In order to understand why the matric tariffs agreed to in Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 have not been implemented it is necessary to understand the history of what has happened.Fact: During 2010 parties in the ELRC (Employer, SADTU and the CTU-ATU) negotiated a new set of tariffs for matric markers. These tariffs represented a 100% increase on the previous or “old” tariffs.

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MATRIC MARKING TARIFFS (ELRC COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT 1 OF 2011)

 

Where are we now?

 

In order to understand why the matric tariffs agreed to in Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 have not been implemented it is necessary to understand the history of what has happened.

 

Fact: During 2010 parties in the ELRC (Employer, SADTU and the CTU-ATU) negotiated a new set of tariffs for matric markers.  These tariffs represented a 100% increase on the previous or “old” tariffs.

 

Fact: The Minister of Basic Education issued Government Gazette 34079, which was signed on 15 February 2012 and issued on  7 March 2011. The tariffs in this Gazette were the “old” tariffs and not the negotiated tariffs

 

Fact: The Director General (DG) of the DBE signed Collective Agreement (CA) 1 of 2011 on 7 April 2011

 

Questions: Why did the minister issue a Gazette with out-dated tariff?  Why did the Employer’s reps in the ELRC not inform the DG and the Minister that new tariffs had been negotiated?

 

Fact: The DG called union principals to an urgent meeting in November 2011 and stated that the CA was incorrect and that the DBE could not afford these tariffs.

 

Questions: Did the employer reps negotiate without a mandate? Why did the DG sign the CA if he did not have a mandate?   Did the Employer reps negotiate in bad faith?  Is this “confusion” as a result of poor communication and incompetence on the part of senior DBE officials? There are many more questions that may be asked.

 

Fact: In an attempt not to delay the payment of markers an addendum to CA 1 of 2011 was signed in Dec 2011 which stated that the 2010 tariffs, as outlined in GG of April 2011, plus an “increase of 6.8% would be used. The addendum also stated that the CA would be subjected to the interpretation procedures of the ELRC.

 

Comment: The 6.8% which was added to the tariff was in fact not an increase, but simply an adjustment of the tariffs to bring them in line with the cost of living adjustment granted to educators in 2011. The tariffs are supposed to be adjusted annually.

 

Fact: Early in 2012 parties obtained legal opinion on the status of the CA. There were attempts to resolve the matter, with the Employer offering an additional increase of approximately 10%, which the teacher unions rejected.

 

Fact: In May 2012 the Employer declared a dispute, however, there was no conciliation and the matter was set down for arbitration. The Employer again offered an increase of 10%, which was rejected.

 

Fact: At the end of November the arbitration commenced. The Employer argued that the ELRC did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. In December the arbitrator ruled that the ELRC did have jurisdiction and that the arbitration could proceed.

 

Fact: In another attempt to avoid disrupting the matric marking the unions signed a second addendum to the CA (dated 28 November 2012), where markers were offered the 2010 tariffs with an increase of 6.8% adjustment (for 2011) and a 7% adjustment (for 2012)

 

Comment: These adjustments were not increases - see above

 

Fact: On 12 February 2012 the Employer withdrew the dispute and in a further notice also issued on 12 February, but only sent to NAPTOSA a few days later, the Minister, in terms of section 23 (4) of the Labour Relations Act, terminated the agreement, on the grounds that the DBE could not afford the tariffs as stated in Collective Agreement 1 of 2011.

 

SUMMARY

 

The most recent decision of the DBE to withdraw from Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 (matric tariffs) is shameful and potentially explosive and will require the collective wisdom of experienced leaders to find a way out of the impasse caused by the Employer.

 

The discontent around the failure to implement the collective agreement which determines the matric marking tariffs has its roots in the negotiation process in 2010. During that year, teacher unions in the ELRC negotiated a 100% increase in the tariffs for matric markers and other examination related work.

 

 NAPTOSA and the other unions engaged in the process in good faith. In April of 2011 the agreement was signed by the Director General, Mr Bobby Soobrayan. However, in November 2011, the department’s disregard for collective bargaining became apparent when it announced that the collective agreement was said to be incorrect, invalid not mandated and could not be funded. Subsequently parties obtained legal opinion and in May 2012 the DBE declared a dispute in the ELRC, only to withdraw the dispute in February 2013, followed by the most recent decision to terminate the Collective Agreement in terms of provisions provided for in the Labour Relations Act.

 

For more than two years the DBE has failed to resolve a problem which is of their making.  NAPTOSA and other unions downplayed the fiasco in Dec 2011 and again in Dec 2012 when educators were engaged in marking as the unions did not want the marking process to be disrupted. 

 

As far as NAPTOSA is concerned, the issue confronting teacher unions and the Department of Basic Education is not just about marking tariffs, which is important, but rather the undermining of collective bargaining, by the Employer.

 

Very serious concerns have been raised about the lack of communication within the DBE as well as the competence of senior officials. It is unheard of that an Employer can negotiate, sign an agreement and then claim that is not a mandated position.

 

NAPTOSA and all the other unions in the ELRC have requested the General Secretary to issue the Department of Education a compliance order to implement the collective agreement.  It is hoped that a mutually acceptable and amicable solution can be found.

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS AND CAPS CONFERENCE

 

NAPTOSA North West is going ahead with her Saturday workshops on CAPS. On Saturday, 9 March 2012, training at Laerskool Rustenburg Noord will be on English FAL Grade 7, Mathematics Grade 6 and Natural Science & Technology Grade 4.

 

On the same date, training at Sol Plaatjie will be on English FAL Grade 6, Mathematics Grade 5 and EMS Grade 9

 

Participants that have not yet registered may still submit registration forms by either fax (014 597-0991 or 0862127753) or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Participants who do not have either fax or e-mail facilities may sms their details and state which workshop (subject and Grade) and at which venue they wish to attend. SMSs may be sent to Nthabiseng at 0832261867 or Kenny at 0833996335.

 

The Management of CAPS Conference will be held at Orion Safari Lodge on Tuesday, 19 March 2013. All principals, Deputies and Heads of Departments are invited. The Conference is FREE OF CHARGE and is open to all SMT members irrespective of Union affiliation.

 

See News Flash 13 of 2013 for registration forms or they may be requested from the provincial office at 014 592-4447. Should you wish to register by sms, please send details to either Nthabiseng or Kenny at the above numbers.

 

SHOP STEWARDS

 

The Full Time Shop Stewards for NAPTOSA North West for the current academic year are:

·         Ms Thelma Rammutla. Ms Rammutla replaces Mr BM Mmoledi who has returned to school due to personal challenges. Ms Rammutla will be based at the Provincial Office in Rustenburg, and will be servicing the Bojanala and Ngaka Modiri Districts.

Her contact details are: 083 324 9418 E-Mail Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

·         Mr Victor Seleka will be based at the satellite office in Klerksdorp, and will be responsible for Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati Districts.  His contact details are:  083 324 9297 E-Mail Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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