Eastern Cape teachers who refuse to be transferred to schools with staff shortages by 1 February 2013 should have their pay-cheques stopped.
There are currently 5343 staff from principal to teacher level who are in excess at their current schools and need to be transferred.
Pupils in the poorest schools in the Eastern Cape are suffering with very few teachers because SADTU continues to oppose the transfer of teachers.
In a letter to MEC Mandla Makhupula this morning, the DA welcomed the announcement of a turnaround plan for education and made the following proposals:
- Teachers must be identified for transfer to vacant posts based on suitability and fairness and if this is refused by SADTU the salaries of these teachers should be stopped on 1 February until they move to the post required;
- A cut-off deadline for teachers who refuse transfer must be established and severance packages negotiated so that unemployed graduates can replace them in the system; and
- The subtle racism of Principals who fiddle post requirements to exclude teachers who don’t fit a certain language profile must be acted against.
A turnaround plan involving books and infrastructure in schools simply cannot work unless there is a quality teacher in every classroom.
For 10 years, the Education Department has failed to face down SADTU to ensure that teachers are transferred to where they are needed most as per Collective Agreement 2 of 2003.
This culminated in pupils being caught in the crossfire of a two month-long illegal strike by SADTU in 2012 which the Department failed to act against.
Teachers in the Eastern Cape teach for just 3.5 hours a day. Classrooms also have the highest absenteeism rate for teachers in the country resulting in 50% of schools being dysfunctional. For this turnaround plan to work we need accountability.
Our children deserve nothing less than the opportunity to receive a quality education no matter which school they attend in the Eastern Cape.
The DA expects a response from MEC Makhupula without delay on this urgent matter.
Edmund van Vuuren, MPL