Sadtu turning to private schools for recruitment

2014-07-28 00:00

THE South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in KwaZulu-Natal is eyeing teachers and staff in private schools for recruitment as members.

Sadtu also wants make itself fashionable and relevant to whites, coloureds and Indians.

Tabling his secretariat report to the provincial congress, secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said private schools should be explored to the fullest for recruitment.

“The vulnerability of workers in this sector creates an impression that the sector still belongs to the pre-1994 era where workers were rights-less and therefore could be dismissed instantly,” Mathonsi said.

He said Sadtu has 60 members at five private schools, including Virginia Preparatory, Golden Hours, ICESA Matric, Shakaskraal, Glenwood and Pinetown.

Mathonsi added Sadtu KwaZulu-Natal wanted its membership to recruit across racial lines, since it already has 323 coloureds, 4 998 Indians and 190 whites as members.

He said recruiting new members in private schools was not without challenge as more private schools were formed each year and public schools were becoming private. However, he said Sadtu would seek to improve the conditions of workers in private schools.

“The new LRA (Labour Relations Act), as amended, stipulates that workers cannot be temporary for a period exceeding three months. This will have to be exploited by Sadtu in decisively improving the conditions of service for all privately employed workers.”

The planned recruitment drive comes as the biggest teachers’ union boasts 60 822 members in KwaZulu-Natal’s Education Department.

Membership in the province grew by almost four percent since the union’s 2011 provincial congress.

A breakdown of membership shows Sadtu members are in the following categories:

• 49 566 teachers;

• 1 783 Grade R teachers;

• 6 591 non-teaching staff;

• 1 357 further education and training employees; and

• 1 525 adult basic education training teachers.

Mathonsi said Sadtu was proud that its members held 11 640 managerial positions in the department, including principals, their deputies, schools’ heads of departments, assistant directors, deputy directors, centre managers, directors and a deputy director-general.

The managerial positions placed a bigger responsibility to ensure Sadtu led by example, he said.

“We need to lead the transformation of schooling systems,” he said.

“When the department succeeds, it is Sadtu that has ensured that it succeeds. We must also understand that the reverse is also true,” Mathonsi added.

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