The following collective agreements were recently concluded in the ELRC:

The grouping (ATU-CTU) that NAPTOSA is part of in the ELRC, only supported Collective Agreement 4 of 2018. The other two collective agreements were not supported, because it is believed that they both amount to a downward variation of existing rights of educators.

The collective agreement on the conversion of temporary educators (4 of 2018) was supported because it will ensure uniform application across provinces, most of which already have their own collective agreements in this regard with varying qualifying periods for conversion.

The conversion provision will only apply in respect of a funded, substantive, vacant post level 1 post in a public school and if the post cannot be filled by a permanent educator who is in excess, a first-time educator to whom the employer has a contractual obligation (bursary holder) or any other first-time applicant. Temporary educators will qualify for conversion after having completed at least 3 months’ continuous service, provided they comply with all the requirements for permanent appointment.

Collective Agreement 2 of 2018 replaces the current provisions of the PAM in respect of the re-appointment of educators after a break in service. In terms of the PAM provision an educator who is re-appointed to the same post level after a break in service must be re-appointed to the same salary position (or equivalent salary position) that he/she occupied before the break in service. An educator re-appointed to a lower post level loses 6 notches for each post level that is lower than the post level that the educator occupied before the break in service (all re-appointments capped at a specific notch per post level). The new agreement, however, determines that upon re-appointment the educator will be re-appointed at the minimum notch of the same or lower post level, whichever is applicable, unless such educator has more than 6 years’ uninterrupted service on the same post level, or on any post level (in the case of re-appointment to a lower post level), in which case the educator will be appointed six notches above such minimum.

Members must take note of Collective Agreement 3 of 2018, because it affects the disciplinary processes for educators charged with sexual misconduct relating to learners. Up to now an educator so charged would have been brought before an internal departmental disciplinary hearing after which the educator, if found guilty, could appeal the outcome while remaining in service. If the educator, after the appeal process, was dismissed, he/she could declare a dispute at the ELRC. In terms of the new agreement the internal process and the appeal process are dispensed with in these cases. The matter will now be directly heard by the ELRC.