Progress on OSD negotiations process

7 August 2009

The negotiations on OSD for educators have resumed and faith in the process restored, thanks to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).
The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) finally sat yesterday following SADTU`s letter of demand on Monday calling for a sitting to allow the Department of Education to table a response from the government mandating committee.

The OSD negotiations had been in limbo for nearly a month after the Department of Education left to consult with the government mandating committee on the adoption of Collective Agreement Number 4 of 2009 which was presented to the unions on July 10. SADTU, after consulting members of its National Executive Council (NEC) indicated their intention to sign on the Agreement. At yesterday`s meeting, the Department of Education withdrew its controversial proposal which sought to undermine the current Collective Agreement Number 4. "This tendency of negotiating in bad faith cannot be allowed and we call upon the Education Department to deal decisively with its negotiators in order to restore trust in the bargaining process," Acting General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said.

The department has finally accepted Collective Agreement no. 4 of 2009 as the official draft collective Agreement. This will remove ambiguity to the ownership of the offer. However, no finality has been reached on the funding of the agreement as the process of mandate seeking was continuing.
More meetings are scheduled to take place to look at the funding of the Agreement.

Mr Maluleke said that it was time to relook at this fiscal federalism which limits the powers of the National Ministry on the allocation of resources from adopted provincial budget. "If education is a priority we must do away with this anomaly," he said. At the same time, salary negotiations begin on Tuesday, 11 August.

We cannot afford to delay salary negotiations any longer. It is time that the education department takes education seriously to avoid any disruptions of teaching and learning.

SADTU is the largest union in the public service with 237,000 members and represents two thirds of teachers

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

Nomusa Cembi, Media Officer @ 082 719 5152