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Education an essential service? A quick fix solution?

 

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT OF NAPTOSA,

MR BASIL MANUEL, IN PRETORIA ON MONDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2013

 

 

EDUCATION AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE?  A  QUICK FIX SOLUTION ?

 

 

Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation (NAPTOSA)  said that NAPTOSA understands and identifies with the concern expressed by various political parties and others regarding the state of education , however, NAPTOSA is of the view  that declaring education an essential service will not provide the quick fix that some are hoping for.

 

Mr Manuel stated that NAPTOSA will not accept the eroding of educators’ labour rights.

 

Apart from the legal  issues regarding  the declaring of education as an essential service  there are at least three other issues  that must be properly ventilated, said Mr Manuel.

 

Firstly, the education  department  has, in terms of present legislation, the power at its disposal  to manage  strike action. They should apply the “no work no pay” principle without fear or favour, take disciplinary action against educators who participate in unprotected strikes and  against educators who are found guilty of violence and intimidation, said Mr Manuel

Does the employer have the courage to do this?

 

Secondly, said  Mr Manuel , the department should ask themselves why teachers believe it is necessary to embark on strike action. The issue of salaries is only one factor. There are other factors that have led to numerous unprotected strikes, these include the state of disrepair of many school buildings, the failure to deliver  LTSM on time, understaffing of some schools, to mention but a few.

 

Is the employer totally committed, at grass roots level, to the establishment of an enabling environment in every school?

 

A third and very disquieting aspect is the tendency of citizens to resort to acts of violence and other forms of socially unacceptable behaviour when they have a grievance with an employer, a municipality or service provider.  This malaise must be addressed at a national level, said Mr Manuel.