12 APRIL 2013




Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa, said in Pretoria today that NAPTOSA refutes statements made by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on the matric marking tariffs.  The statements made by the DBE are misleading and NAPTOSA believes that it is imperative that not only its members, but all teachers and the general public should have the facts.


The most recent utterance, as reported in the online editions of the City Press and News 24 that “a flawed collective agreement entered into in 2011 had since been re-negotiated” is simply not true, said Mr Manuel.  The unions signed two addendums to the original agreement to enable the DBE to pay the matric markers in 2011 and 2012, according to the “old tariffs” with a cost of living adjustment. The addendum also stated that the collective agreement would be subjected to the interpretation procedures of the ELRC.   Mr Manuel said that the addendums were merely expedient, interim measures entered into to avoid a delay in paying the markers pending the outcome of interpretation processes in the ELRC.  The agreement has definitely not been re-negotiated.


In another statement made by the DBE, and reported in The Post and Cape Argus at least, the Employer is trying to divide the unions and mislead teachers and the public by saying, “While other unions had accepted this as a bona fide mistake, Sadtu had rejected the department’s overtures to find a resolution, and instead went to court.”  The fact of the matter is that all the teacher unions went to court.  NAPTOSA is of the view that the agreement signed by the DBE and the teacher unions is valid. The Employer is saying that the agreement is flawed and that the agreement contradicted the mandated position of the Department.


Mr Manuel added that the DBE withdrew its dispute in the ELRC, which was meant to determine the status of the agreement, and shortly thereafter unilaterally withdrew from the collective agreement  in terms of the Labour Relations Act.  As a result of the Department’s actions, all the unions together took the matter to the Labour Court in March 2013.  The court has ruled that the matter will be heard in August 2013 to determine the status of the collective agreement.  NAPTOSA welcomes the court’s ruling and will await the final decision of the court.


Mr Manuel stressed that, apart from the obvious interest in obtaining the best deal for matric markers, NAPTOSA is concerned about the undermining of collective bargaining.  All parties admitted to the ELRC must engage in collective bargaining in good faith and secure mandates before signing a collective agreement.


Mr Manuel added, that although NAPTOSA is part of the litigation process in the Labour Court, it is not involved with the “go-slow” (or “work-to-rule”) or the call for the resignation of the Minister and Director General of the DBE.