As I reflect on the year that is drawing to a close, I think back on how 2018 started with the protracted salary negations. You are commended for your patience and support during these negotiations. Despite misgivings regarding the collective agreement, gains were made. I think of the collective agreements that have been signed by NAPTOSA in both the PSCBC and the ERLC, but also of those agreements (particularly the re-appointment of educators after a break in service and the shortened disciplinary process for sexual misconduct cases) that we did not support because we believe that such agreements negatively impact the existing rights of our members.
The implementation of the 1.3 % pay progression for educators with effect from 1 July has not been without difficulties. Whilst provinces have already implemented the 1% pay progression, it is hoped that the outstanding salary progression payments will be paid before the end of this year.
It is regrettable that the issues of ill-discipline in our schools once again prominently featured in the media this year. Issues of safety in our schools have not been adequately addressed and we assure you that NAPTOSA will continue to engage with the DBE, parents, SGB foundations, learners’ organisations, etc. to find solutions that will ensure that schools are safe for all! NAPTOSA salutes you because you have worked tirelessly under these strenuous, and indeed, unacceptable working conditions.
I am heartened, however, at the inroads NAPTOSA has made towards easing the burden of assessment overload with the changes to CAPS Chapter 4. We have been instrumental, with the assistance of expert teachers in a range of subjects, to change attitudes and approaches to assessment, and we look forward to continuing the process that will make it easier for our educators to teach our learners in a more meaningful way.
NAPTOSA has also experienced some changes in its structures. There are new appointments of PCEOs in Gauteng and North West, and once more we congratulate Mrs Gaylin Bowles, our former Deputy President, on her appointment as Gauteng PCEO and Ms Tshwanelo Mmutlana, our former EO for membership matters and public relations at Head Office, on her appointment as North West PCEO.
These appointments have forced some changes in the leadership of NAPTOSA. Mr Moses Standaar will undertake the duties of Deputy President and Mr Tinus Du Preez will be donning the mantle of Vice President effective from 2019. We wish to congratulate them on their election to these positions.
I must take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to the NAPTOSA leadership - from school site reps, branch level to national level, appointed officials and the entire NAPTOSA membership for its support in ensuring that NAPTOSA is alive and working for its members.
In conclusion, to all school principals, teachers, parents and learners who are awaiting the results for the 2018 academic year, we wish you all the best.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019!