Teacher unions to apply for Labour Court interdict

2013-03-15 16:33

Teacher unions across the board will be applying for a Labour Court interdict against the department of basic education and the Education Labour Relations Council on Monday.

The unions want the department to suspend its notice to terminate the collective bargaining agreement it had with the unions.

The agreement was reached and signed on April 7 2011 to make permanent adjustments to the remuneration of public examiners.

The agreement signed by the department and all teacher unions stated that one of the reasons for the adjustments was the need to improve the remuneration of those who are appointed to be public examiners and to adjust tariffs to be in line with current practices.

It also said the remuneration rate would be hourly.

For the past two years this has not materialised.

The agreement was terminated on March 3 2013 with a letter from Education Minister Angie Motshekga to all affected parties.

The letter states that after consideration and serious attempts to reach a settlement with the unions, in terms of the agreement, the department found no other alternative than to withdraw from the agreement.

The department said it could not realistically implement the agreement and had notified the unions of such.

Gugulethu Madlanga, attorney for all the unions, said the department had already been served with the notice and had notified Madlanga and Partners that they would be filing opposing papers tomorrow morning.

“The department signed an agreement with our clients in 2011. Now they want to renege on that agreement and they say that 14 days is enough notice,” he added.

According to the court application, the unions state that if the court cannot put aside the department’s decision to renege on the contract they all signed, the unions should be given at least a year’s notice.

The cancellation of the agreement is due on March 19 2013, thereafter any negotiations would have to start from scratch.

Madlanga said he would not comment on whether or not the unions would go on strike, but “a strike is imminent. But for those details you’ll need to contact the unions.”

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