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 Teachersâ€™ 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 educatorsâ€™ 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 â€œno work no payâ€ 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.