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Newsroom » Media Releases » Media Releases » 2007

Article Details

Breakdown in negotiations on Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), 4 December 2007 press


Breakdown in negotiations on OSD

04 December 2007

The “Occupation Specific Dispensation” (OSD) for educators was tabled by the Ministry of Education in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) with a view to reaching agreement with teacher unions who are members of the Council.

This matter has been in negotiation for nearly three months, during which time no agreement has been reached.

At the last ELRC meeting of 3rd December unions did not support the revised proposal, which addressed many of the concerns raised by SADTU and the other unions. SADTU indicated that they did not have a mandate on the matter, and would only obtain this in the New Year!

The implication of this breakdown in collective bargaining is that the OSD for educators, which will put substantial money into the pockets of teachers, will not be implemented by the target date of 1st January 2008.

The proposal as tabled provides for an immediate adjustment for all teachers, averaging 6.2%, while more than 20% will get a translation increase of more than 10%. Teachers will have to wait longer for Unions to finalise their mandates.

The Minister has expressed her deep disappointment at these developments, and remains convinced that the new measures are for the benefit of all teachers.

The proposed OSD for education professionals ensures a fair, equitable and competitive remuneration structure, in which good and qualified teachers will be well rewarded. The element of performance-based pay is a matter of concern for some unions, but no competent or committed teacher has any reason to fear increased accountability. If we are genuinely committed to quality education, we cannot continue to protect under-performing or mediocre teachers.

The OSD proposal provides for extended salary scales, with hugely increased maximums. Good teachers will qualify for ”accelerated progression”, in which they will see their salaries increase by up to 4.5% every year, over and above any cost-of living increases.

The proposal also provides for the appointment of some 50 000 support personnel, who will provide administrative and other forms of support to teachers. This will be an opportunity for youths to get work experience, without replacing teachers in any way, and encourage them to consider further training towards becoming a teacher – something that anyone with an interest in the renewal of the profession should welcome.

In other words, the entire proposal is in the interests of quality education for all, and those who reject it should stop pretending that this is also their objective.

The Minister of Education and the Minister of Public Service and Administration are reviewing the position with regard to breaking the current deadlock in negotiations. Their primary aim is to ensure the implementation of the OSD for Educators as agreed to in the final salary agreement of 2007.

Issued by the Ministry of Education:
Lunga Ngqengelele
Ministerial Spokesperson
012 312 5538
082 566 0446

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 6/30/2008
Number of Views: 765

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