Equal Education Statement on SADTU Johannesburg Central Region holding meetings during school time
23 October 2009
Yesterday, 22 October 2009 it was announced that SADTU members from the Johannesburg Central Region called a meeting that was held at 12:00 PM at Orlando Communal Hall. The meeting was a report back from the implementation of Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD).
The Gauteng Department of Education reminded them of a restraining order that was issued by the Labour Court this year. The order restrained SADTU from embarking on illegal strike and work stoppages at school premises and district offices and prevented its members from harassing and intimidating principals, learners, district officials and staff members.
Equal Education supports the demands of SADTU for the implementation of the OSD and SADTU’s calls for salary increases for teachers. We believe that teachers need to be respected and compensated accordingly. We will defend their right to negotiate salaries and organise and protest and undertake lawful industrial action when their rights are violated. Further, we will campaign with SADTU for better working conditions for teachers including better teacher:learner ratios, more teaching support and less administrative burden.
In return, teachers should act professionally and never forget their constitutional obligation to provide quality education to the children of this country. Communities, parents, and learners expect teachers to deliver quality teaching and arrive at school on time and teach all the time.
We express our deep concern that SADTU Johannesburg Central Region has called an illegal meeting during instructional time, because we cannot accept disruption of learning and teaching in our working class and poor schools.
This action is in conflict with:
- The spirit of the right to basic education that is enshrined by S 29 of the Constitution.
- The Polokwane Resolutions and subsequently the COSATU Strategy that make educatio
n a priority, and require that teachers should be at school all the time.
Many of the members of SADTU serve these township and rural schools where learners are drawn from the working class and poor communities. Any protests or meetings to organise teachers should occur outside the time allocated for instruction in our schools.
Research has shown that in South Africa our teachers spend 3.2 hours in a day in class teaching and this is a serious concern for quality learning and teaching. In addition our education system is one of the worst performing in the world; our township and rural schools produce learners that cannot compete with learners from the former Model C schools.
Disruptions of schools and instructional time should not be tolerated by communities, parents and learners and action should be taken by lawful and peaceful means to protect the rights of children to quality education (teaching and learning).