11 July 2018 - NW2065
van der Westhuizen, Mr AP to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training
(1)How do the (a) salary bands, (b) conditions of service, (c) opportunities for promotions and (d) awards for excellent performance of lecturers at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges compare with those of educators at public schools; (2) what options are open to college managers to (a) recruit and (b) retain college lecturers with scarce skills in fields where the remuneration levels of persons with comparable qualifications and practical experience in the private sector are considerably higher than in the public sector; (3) (a) what are the plans of her department to link the conditions of service of TVET college lecturers and managers to their performance and (b) will the achievements of learners in external assessments be linked to the performance of lecturers?
(1)(a) Lecturers in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training TVET colleges are on similar salary bands to that of educators in public schools. In 2010, a Collective Agreement to create parity between the salaries of TVET college lecturers and educators in public schools was reached in the Education Labour Relations Council - Further Education and Training College Bargaining Unit (ELRC - FETCBU). The ELRC - FETCBU Collective Agreement 1 of 2010 was implemented in all the public TVET colleges.
(b) The ELRC - FETCBU Collective Agreement 3 of 2013 brought parity in conditions of service between TVET college lecturers and educators in public schools. College-paid lecturers who did not receive benefits such as a pension and medical aid were then offered 37% in lieu of benefits.
The transfer of all TVET college lecturers to the Department on 1 April 2015 further ensured that all lecturers received benefits and moved away from the 37% in lieu of benefits. Where lecturers are alleging to have lesser conditions of service than educators, these are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In terms of the Continuing Education and Training Act (CET Act) 16 of 2006 as amended, no public TVET college lecturer, either paid through PERSAL or being a college council employee, should be subjected to lesser conditions of service than what is provided in the public service in general.
(c) Lecturers in the public TVET colleges have equal opportunities for promotions like those experienced by educators in public schools. The difference would be in the availability of promotional posts, given the vast number of public schools compared to TVET colleges.
(d) Currently, at a national level, there are no awards for the excellent performance of lecturers. However, at individual TVET college level, some colleges recognise lecturers for excellent performance. The Department is in the process of initiating plans on a national level to recognise excellent performance of lecturers and once finalised; it will be communicated to the TVET colleges and public.
(2)(a) In terms of Section 20(1)(b) of the CET Act 16 of 2006 as amended, college councils can establish additional posts for colleges over and above what the Minister has established. Section 20(4)(c) of the Act also states that the council must remunerate staff from the funds received by the public college in question from other sources than the money received in terms of section 22 of the Act. Further, in terms of Section 20(4)(d) of the Act, a college council must determine the functions, conditions of service and privileges for staff appointed in additional posts.
(b) In terms of Section 20(4)(e) of the CET Act 16 of 2006 as amended, a college council must remunerate staff in additional posts, that is no less than the remuneration paid to staff appointed in terms of the Public Service Act, appointed by the Minister.
College councils are empowered to pay comparable remuneration to retain college lecturers with scarce skills in fields where the remuneration levels of persons with comparable qualifications and practical experience in the private sector are considerably higher than in the public sector. Where such lecturers are not in posts created by the council(s) in terms of Section 20(1)(b), councils may by agreement with the Minister, pay top-up salaries to Ministerial appointed staff who possess such scarce skills to retain them. Processes to review personnel administrative measures suitable to TVET colleges are underway and should pronounce in favour of such eventualities to enhance the retention of lecturers with scarce skills.
(3(a) Currently, TVET college managers like all managers within the public service sign performance agreements with their supervisors annually and they are awarded performance bonuses based on the achievements of agreed upon targets. Lecturers are awarded pay progression based on the Integrated Quality Management System, a performance assessment tool that is largely viewed as having failed to serve its purpose. The process of reviewing the personnel administrative measures for TVET college lecturers will address amongst others, the lecturer performance management and development system, which should have a clear link between their conditions of service and performance.
(b) The review of personnel administrative measures will also consider linking the achievements of learners in external assessments and the performance of lecturers.