South African Council of Educators & Education Labour Relations Council Annual Reports 2006/7

Basic Education

29 October 2007
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Meeting report

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
30 November 2007
SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL OF EDUCATORS & EDUCATION LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORTS 2006/7

Chairperson: Mr S Mayatula (ANC)

Documents handed out:
South African Council of Educators (SACE) presentation
South African Council of Educators (SACE) Annual Report 2006/07 [available later at www.sace.org.za]
Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) presentation
Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) Annual Report 2006/07 [available later at www.elrc.org.za]

Audio recording of meeting

SUMMARY
The South African Council of Educators and Education Labour Relations Council reported on their activities for the past year. The distinction between SACE’s Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) and ELRC’s Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) as well ELRC’s qualified audit report was discussed.

MINUTES
South African Council of Educators (SACE) presentation
Ms Anthea Cereseto, SACE Board Chairperson, Mr Reg Brijraj, CEO of SACE and Mr Morris Mapindani, Chief Financial Officer, presented. The SACE Act of 2000 mandates it to register all educators, ensure their professional develop and uphold the ethics of the profession. Registration is compulsory. The Council consists of 30 people, 18 from teacher unions, five ministerial nominees and one each from higher education, further education and training and independent schools. The Council’s total staff comprises 25 people.

In 2006, 22 4999 educators were registered, 5 148 provisionally. The total number of educators registered comprises about 500 000, including 1 000 foreigners (mostly from Zimbabwe). The SACE Act might be amended to include coaches and others who interact with learners at schools.

In terms of professional development, the Council is involved with these activities:
- Professional development portfolios
- Integrated Quality Management System
- Professional standards
- Mentorship project
- Educational policy interventions
- Communication and advocacy
- Research
- Partnerships.

The Ethics Committee received 321 complaints in the year under review, conducted nine investigations and four hearings. The reason given for the low throughput rate was ‘financial difficulties and high staff turnover’. Since 2000 there have been 800 complaints and 57 educators have been struck off the register.

Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) is funded by the Department of Education and implemented by SACE. The vision is for teachers to engage life-long in professional development activities. These may be qualifications, short courses, workshop and relevant activities and initiatives which are endorsed by SACE. They will lead to Professional Development Points (PDPs). Educators should acquire 150 every three years. SACE will manage and implement the system.

Educators pay a once-off R60 registration fee (foreigners pay R120) and R5 a month. SACE’s annual budget is R25 million, excluding a grant from the Department. The organisation is to grow form 25 to 50 people and new offices will be bought in 2008. SACE meets it employment equity targets.

Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) presentation
Mr Dhaya Govender, CEO and Accounting Officer, and Mr Jeff Moshakga, Chief Financial Officer, presented. The ELRC’s aim and primary business is to promote labour peace in the education sector by working with the parties to the Council and providing efficient and non-partisan administration and facilitation for labour peace. The ELRC is guided by Batho Pele principles and values. Its secondary business is to promote peace in the public education sector by providing consultation and negotiation between trade unions and the Department.

The ELRC activities included researching the maximum hours of work for educators and international comparisons in education, co-hosting the 16th Conference of Commonwealth Education Minister, attending the 14th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association, monitoring the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) implementation, convening a consultative workshop on conditions of service as per the Further Education and Training Colleges Act during the year under review.

A collective agreement on ‘Vote Weights for the Trade Unions that are parties to the Council’ was signed at national level and collective agreements (on protocol, temporary educators, post establishment, distribution of posts including curriculum redress and procedures for the appointment of Further Education and Training College educators) in some of the provinces. From 2005-2007, there was a decline in the number of national agreements reached and a large increase in the number of provincial agreements.

During the year, 589 disputes were referred: 101 were settled by the parties at conciliation, 169 resulted in awards being made, 57 were settled at arbitration and 143 are still being processed. The remainder were withdrawn, not proceeded with, or removed due to lack of jurisdiction or non-attendance by referring parties. The majority of disputes related to appointments/promotions. By far the greatest number of disputes was in KwaZulu Natal. More than half the number of awards were taken on review by individuals. There is a plan of action to minimise the number of reviews – with the establishment of a Quality Control panel and training of dispute resolution practitioners.

The ELRC received a qualified audit report due to lack of evidence of proper stock taking of assets, as well as solvency and liquidity matters. Deficits had dug into reserve funds but income would increase by 300% in the next financial year because of an increase in levies. Financial constraints hindered the Council in skills development but managers and assistant managers were enrolled in programmes. Support staff were trained in various programmes relating to their specific functions, such as security officers and computer literacy.

The Further Education and Training Colleges (FETC) Bargaining Unit concluded two agreements (relating to the implementation of the Act and transfer of employees from the Department to individual FET Colleges.

The ELRC manages the Prevention, Care, Treatment and Access (PCTA) project to reduce the number of HIV infections among educators and to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on educators and their families. The project is implemented through performance based grants to teacher unions and aims to reach 15 000 individuals via one-on-one interactions, 50 000 via mass communication and create 150 new sites for educators to receive condoms.

Discussion
Mr B Mthembu (ANC) was glad that CPTD was housed at SACE, but how would it fit in with the IQMS? And was SACE ready to implement CPTD? He knew that SACE facilitated and monitored IQMS and that its implementation was problematic because its two goals were contradictory. How did teachers become temporarily appointed. Of the 589 disputes, why had more than half been about appointments and promotions?

Mr R Ntuli (ANC) said that there was a danger of replication if IQMS and CPTD were not properly aligned. He noted that CPTD was “non-punitive”. If after 10 years teachers had not accumulated any points, would SACE just ‘plead’ with them?

Ms B Matsomela (ANC) wanted to know if the ELRC’s asset register was accurate. She noted that the budget for research and development had decreased from R6 million to R2 million – was research and development no longer important? She also noted that the SACE financial statements did not include a research item.

Mr G Boinamo (DA) said that people’s capacity needed to be improved all the time. What had SACE and the ELRC done to educate teachers? Did foreign educators get retrained in South Africa? That 312 complainants were not dealt with and only nine heard by SACE must be an enormous source of frustration for teachers. How did disputes become withdrawn because of lack of jurisdiction?

Delegates from SACE and the ELRC answered that it was standard practice for many cases to be thrown out because of lack of jurisdiction. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), for instance, screened out 40%. In 2002 the ELRC had bought a bar coding system for stock-taking but requirements had changed since then. The system had been improved again. There needed to be stronger links between SACE, the ELRC and the Sector Education and Training Authority (to align systems and avoid replication). Research was important – Linda Chisholm of the Human Sciences Research Council had been commissioned to carry out research and IQMS weaknesses were to be addressed. The development aspects were not paid sufficient attention by provincial education departments.

SACE would be ready to implement CPTD and met regularly with the Department to work out the details. Presentations on it had been given to many stakeholders. It would necessarily be non-punitive because it required teacher support to work. SACE’s role was not to educate teachers but to oversee their development. It was regrettable that so few cases had been finalised and additional staff had been hired to deal with the backlog.

The meeting was adjourned hurriedly for members to take their places for a visit to Parliament by the national rugby team.

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