The Opening Ceremony of the South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE) National Championship was held at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand on 29 June 2015. In attendance, was his Excellency, the President, Mr. Jacob Zuma, Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, Deputy Minister of Education Mr. Enver Surty and MEC of Gauteng Department of Education Mr. Panyaza Lesufi.
The event included a dinner that was held to honour the teachers who train the learners who will compete in the 3- day Eisteddfod. During the presentations and interviews both teachers and learners spoke about the values learnt and rewards of participating in such a competition.
Minister Angie Motshekga thanked the teachers for sacrificing their time to afford the learners the opportunity to participate. She stated that the SASCE national championships was a highlight of the DBE calendar. In its 14th year, the SASCE remains one of the most crucial school enrichment programmes that promotes unity in diversity and social cohesion among learners.
More than 9 000 learners from across South Africa are expected to compete in various categories from 30 June to 2 July 2015. During this special competition the musical talents of learners will be showcased. The theme of the 2015 SASCE is “Celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter through music”. Learners will recite the preamble of the Constitution and also sing the African Union Anthem as part of the programme and as a symbol of recognising their heritage, and the promotion of social cohesion.
UNION SUCCESS ON 0.6% RECOVERY
Common sense and sterling leadership prevailed at a meeting of Unions, the Acting Minister Nathi Mthetwa of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and Ministers of the mandating committee. The meeting held on 25 June 2015, initiated by the President of the ILC, Mr Basil Manuel, agreed that the outstanding 0.6% owed to public servants will be implemented with immediate effect.
A special PSCBC meeting was called last night at which a new draft resolution was tabled that confirmed the 7% increase for the current year and the projected CPI+1% for the periods 2016/17 and 2017/2018. However, in a disappointing turn of events, the “Safety net” Clauses (Clauses 3.5 and 3.6 of PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015) had been removed. This means that if the projected CPI was lower than the actual CPI for the periods indicated there would be no claw-back of the shortfall.
The ILC is of the opinion that instead of removing the safety-net clauses an additional clause ought to have been included to clarify the position of the “claw- back” clause in the final year of the agreement.
The majority party in the PSCBC signed-off Resolution 8 of 2015. This Resolution was not signed by the ILC. Whilst the agreement on the 7% is a victory, the ILC has serious reservations about the remaining period of the agreement.
With regard to the Medical Aid subsidy, the individual nature of the medical aid payments is delaying the payback, members are urged to be patient on this issue as it is receiving attention and is likely to be implemented in July 2015.
NAPTOSA thanks the leadership and members for their role in ensuring members rights are recognised and wishes all members a restful, well deserved winter vacation.
The trade union parties to the PSCBC yesterday informed the Employer that they were withdrawing from PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015 (the wage agreement) when the Employer again breached an agreement reached between parties.
After signing the above-mentioned agreement on 19 May 2015 for a cost-of-living adjustment of 7% for the 2015/16 financial year, Labour had to learn via the grapevine that the Employer was intending to implement only a 6,4% increase. Their claim is that they are recovering 0,6% overpaid to employees under PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2012. Apart from breaching the agreement on the 7%, the Employer did not have the decency to inform the unions that they were implementing only 6,4%.
Labour rejected the Employer's interpretation, contending that the provisions of the 2012 Resolution cannot impact on Resolution 2 of 2015. As a result Labour called a Special Council meeting on 1 June 2015 to address the Employer's unwarranted actions. In that meeting parties agreed to obtain a legal opinion on the divergent interpretations. It was furthermore agreed that the Employer would halt the intended implementation of the 6,4%, pending the outcome of the legal opinion.
To our dismay, the Employer, despite the agreement reached on 1 June 2015, is forging ahead with the implementation of the 6,4%, again not informing Labour that they were doing so. This constituted a second breach of an agreement reached between parties.
In view of the above, and to protect the interests and mandate of our members, Labour unanimously decided to withdraw from Resolution 2 of 2015 and to suspend their participation in all collective bargaining processes in the PSCBC and the sectoral bargaining councils until the dispute on the 7% has been resolved. Unions will now, in terms of their internal processes, re-evaluate their positions, including their demands.
Earlier this week it came to the attention of the trade unions in the PSCBC that the Employer intended to reduce the agreed salary increase of 7% to 6,4%. This is based on a provision in PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2012 that if the actual CPI for a period is lower than the projected CPI, the difference will be deducted from the salary adjustment of the following year. The projected CPI for 2014/15, on which the salary increase for 1 April 2014 was based, was 6,2%, whilst the actual average CPI for the period was 5,6% - leaving a shortfall of 0,6%.
As far as NAPTOSA and the other unions are concerned negotiations were concluded on 19 May 2015 on the understanding that there was a complete meeting of minds that employees would be receiving a salary adjustment of 7% on 1 April 2015, irrespective of what previous agreements might have determined.
The Employer’s action prompted Labour to call for an urgent PSCBC meeting on 1 June 2015 where it was decided that the Employer would halt the implementation of the 6,4%, as they had intended doing and to obtain an urgent legal opinion on the different interpretations of Labour and the Employer.
Labour subsequently met on 2 June 2015 to discuss the matter. The outcome of the meeting is contained in the attached joint media statement which clearly reflects the anger of the unions and the challenge to the Employer that if they fail to implement the 7%, Labour will have no option but to withdraw from the agreement.
It is hoped that sense will prevail from the side of the Employer.
The wage agreement for the period 2015/16 to 2017/18 was signed in the PSCBC on 19 May 2015. NAPTOSA is a signatory to the agreement. This means that members will receive the following:
COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT
2015/16 = 7% increase with effect from 1 April 2015 (based on projected CPI of 4,8% + 2,2%)
2016/17 = Projected CPI + 1%
2017/18 = Projected CPI + 1%
(A safety net clause has been built into the agreement that will allow for the difference between the projected CPI and the actual CPI for the corresponding period either to be added to, or subtracted from, the adjustment for the following year depending on whether the actual CPI was higher or lower than the projected CPI)
28, 5% adjustment in the medical subsidy for in-service members belonging to GEMS limited to –
A maximum cap of R 925 p.m. per principal member and first dependent and R 565 p.m. per each additional dependent.
An overall maximum cap of R 3545 p.m.