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Transfer of college employees to THE employ of DHET:  AGREEMENT RATIFIED

FETCBU Collective Agreement 5 of 2013 (Agreement on the Transfer of the Public Further Education and Training Colleges lecturers from the colleges to the Department of Higher Education and Training in terms of FET Colleges Amendment Act 3 of 2012 and subject to section 197 of the Labour Relations Act, was ratified in the ELRC on Wednesday, 4 February 2014.  It consists of an agreement, as well as macro and micro management plans.  Members should note that the dates referred to in the two management plans are outdated.  New dates will have to be set.  Of importance, however, are the processes set out in the management plans.

An electronic copy of the signed agreement is available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download the agreement.

College staff's most frequently asked question: "Who will be transferred to DHET?"

he answer is found in clause  4.1.1 and 4.1.2 of the Agreement: staff appointed in fully funded posts will be transferred.  In News Flash FET 1 we defined “fully funded posts”.  Please refer to the news flash.

Clause 4.1.1 of the Collective Agreement refers to an audit of DHET' allocation to the college versus the college wage bill.  The Norms and Standards for the Funding of Public FET Colleges, limit colleges to using only 63% of the state's allocation for employees' salaries.

Clause 4.1.2 states:  "If it is established that the ratio of College Allocation versus Wage Bill is 63% or less, then all staff employed at the college should be transferred to the New Employer (DHET)".  Members should note that this does not mean that all staff employed by a college will be transferred.  Please keep in mind that the collective agreement only deals with college staff appointed in fully funded posts.

There are a few colleges, though, which use a much higher percentage of their DHET allocation to foot their salary bills. At these colleges, permanently appointed staff may have to be declared in excess and will not be transferred to DHET.  Please refer to clause 4.2.2 for more information about the procedure that college will have to follow.  Organisational requirements, curriculum needs and uninterrupted service in the employ of the college (including service rendered to provincial departments of education) must be taken into account.

The National Implementation Task Team (NITT), consisting of DHET and labour representatives (NAPTOSA to be represented by Louise Smit) will monitor this process.  It is envisaged that the Task Team will be present at the colleges when staff is declared in excess.  The Task Team will, inter alia, also ensure that FETCBU Collective Agreement 2 of 2013 (permanent appointment of lecturers) has been implemented in full.

Employees in fully funded posts, who may wish not to transfer to DHET, will have to submit a written request in this regard to the Principal.  It is, however, important to note that all the funded posts (as well as the funding for the posts) will be transferred to DHET.  If a person in a funded post wishes to remain with the college, the college will have to provide funding from another source.

The same principle applies to permanently appointed staff declared in excess.  They will remain in the employ of the college. However, DHET is fully aware of the impact this could have on service delivery and the vision of increasing the number of students drastically.  DHET undertook to continue funding these posts immediately after the transfer has been effected.

The collective agreement does not address all issues related to the transfer and the NITT realises that there are still MANY unanswered questions. NAPTOSA will share information with members as it becomes available.
 
Lecturers are again reminded that they need not be concerned about NAPTOSA representation and/or involvement after the transfer has been finalised.  Lecturers will be appointed as public servants and will fall under the General Public Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC).  NAPTOSA has secured a seat in the Council/FETCBU after negotiations with the PSA.  NAPTOSA will be able to render the same services to its members as it is currently doing.  Members should note that there is currently no other union in either the ELRC or the GPSSBC that knows more about the situation and conditions of service of lecturers than NAPTOSA does.