Teaching is essential — Zuma

2009-10-27 00:00

TEACHERS’ unions hold varying opinions on the possibility of President Jacob Zuma declaring teaching an essential service.

He alluded to such a possibility in Limpopo at the weekend, where he and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema addressed residents of Seshego, close to Polokwane. Zuma expressed his concern over the state of tuition and learning, particularly in black schools. If he was to declare teaching an essential service, it could have serious implications for the right of unions to strike.

Thobile Ntola, president of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), indicated that they would not support the notion. Sadtu is not willing to compromise workers’ rights, he said. According to Ntola, there are prescribed rules and regulations along which workers are permitted to strike.

He said if there isn’t strong leadership within education, workers will continue to insist on their rights in the form of strikes.

He referred to problems in Soweto last week, where hundreds of teachers left pupils unattended to participate in a meeting about salary deductions.

The deductions related to the protests in 2007, in which thousands participated.

Ntola demanded to know what kind of department would deduct teachers’ salaries in the middle of end-year exams.

He says that the department should have deducted the money either in 2007 or the next year.

Ezra Ramasethla, president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation (Naptosa), said that referring to teaching as an essential service means that Zuma is acknowledging their importance. “He is aware that the county cannot be built on poor education … ”

Ramasethla doesn’t think it a concern if teachers are unable to strike, as other methods can be employed to solve problems.

Chris Klopper, executive head of the South African teachers’ union (SAtu), said that Satu supports teaching being declared an essential service.

According to Klopper, it is important that teachers’ labour rights remain protected.

Given the standards and conditions in many schools where disruption occurs, it would be viable to conduct an indepth probe into whether it is necessary to declare teaching as essential, he said.

Essential services refer to services that may threaten the lives, health and safety of South Africans should they be interrupted.

 

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.