Close to 5000 Temporary Teachers' Contracts to be converted to permanent appointments-A Significant gain for SADTU

14 July 2017

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) in the North West has welcomed the release of the Department Circular No 21 of 2017 by the Provincial Department of Education that will a see a once-off conversion of close to 5000 temporary teachers' contracts to permanent contracts.

This is a victory to be celebrated in the sense that it has come after years of fighting between the Department and the Union over how the PELRC Collective Agreement No. 1 of 2010 was implemented as there were anomalies. The Agreement provides for a conversion of temporary teachers to permanent after an employee would have served 24 months of continuous service in substantive vacant posts.

In 2014, the Provincial Executive Committee of SADTU resolved to fight for the conversion to permanent position to be undertaken after less than 12 months of service as opposed to 24 months promulgated by the Collective Agreement; given that there are challenges related to the re-appointment of temporary teachers at the beginning of each year. The Union urged the Department to resolve as follows;

  • That professionally qualified temporary teachers in substantive vacant posts as at 30 April 2017 be converted once off to permanent in terms section 6B of the Employment of Educators Act, 76 of 1998.
  • That temporary teachers, who are not in vacant substantive posts, but have continuous service of 24 months as at 30 April 2017 be identified for placement in vacant substantive posts.
  • That the list of professionally qualified temporary teachers in substantive posts as at 30 April 2017 and conversion letters to permanent status be forwarded to Districts for implementation.
  • That the conversion of temporary teachers to permanent will be effective from 01 July 2017 as per PELRC Collective Agreement 1 of 2010.
  • The conversion covers 4 637 temporary educators.
  • SADTU has noted that in terms of the normal conversion as per PELRC resolution 1 of 2010 only 803 were to be translated in July for 2017/18 financial year. This therefore means that 3824 educators were to be left out and would not have an opportunity of being converted.
  • The circular covers those temporary educators who are substituting seconded educators (especially trade union officials in offices). Majority of this category have long completed 24 months of unbroken service as per the resolution. This is the category that has always been disadvantaged by Resolution 1 of 2010 because of the nature of the posts they are occupying.

SADTU indeed expresses excitement at this watershed victory and wish to officially welcome these teachers into the union as many have been denied this right due their contract of employment.

The achievement did not come easy. This victory comes after the 2015 SADTU Provincial Shutdown when SADTU marched to protest against the slow and somewhat non-existent conversion of temporary teachers. SADTU went on to launch persistent campaigns as the PEC led overnight hostage engagements with the Department of Education and Sport Development management. The union also embarked in vigorous engagements with both MEC Sello Lehari and Premier Supra Mahumapelo to necessitate political intervention on the matter.

We applaud the MEC for his revolutionary consciousness and decisiveness. We further pledge our commitment to work with him closely in addressing the many challenges that the department is still faced with.

!!!!! Viva SADTU Viva!!!!!

Issued by the Secretariat:

George Themba
Provincial Secretary
060 796 7381

Masaele Cindi
Deputy Provincial Secretary
081 8522 769