NAPTOSA has on more than one occasion assured members that the pension reforms announced by government, and which have created major unhappiness among workers, do NOT affect the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) or members of the Fund.
Both the GEPF and the National Treasury, the latter in conjunction with the DPSA, have issued official statements to reassure public servants in this regard. See the following links."
A huge uproar is currently being made of the fact that the President has signed the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act and Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2015, pertaining to certain pension reforms, into law.
These reforms take effect on 1 March 2016. Members are yet again reminded that the reforms only affect PROVIDENT FUNDS. The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is NOT a provident fund, but a pension fund. Members of the GEPF will therefore NOT be affected by these pension reforms. In other words the pension rules that currently apply to educators remain as they are. Gratuities will still be paid to those educators who retire and qualify for such gratuities in terms of the GEPF Rules. The taxation law coming into effect on March 2016 will align and extend the current dispensation to provident funds, and hence will not change the rules of GEPF in anyway.
The GEPF is a defined – benefit fund, where Government, as the employer, guarantees all benefits to all members, irrespective of what happens to the funds invested by the GEPF.
Members are therefore urged to ignore the rumour that is spreading that there will be no lump sum benefits payable from GEPF.
EMBARGOED UNTIL AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MINISTER
Dr Anthea Cereseto, the incoming President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the results of the 2015 National Senior Certificate (NSC) commended the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on its management of the NSC examination involving approximately 800 000 candidates. The decrease in the overall pass rate from 75.8% in 2014 to 70.7% in 2015, while disconcerting, does demonstrate the commitment of the DBE to implement the higher cognitive demands of the CAPS curriculum, said Dr Anthea Cereseto.
However, NAPTOSA’s congratulations are muted amidst the continued dishonesty and ongoing cheating in the 2015 NSC examination, said Dr Cereseto. NAPTOSA calls on the DBE to make public the disciplinary actions taken against the perpetrators of the 2014 NSC mass cheating, she added. Failure to do so creates the impression of condoning such acts and threatens the credibility of the NSC in the coming years.
NAPTOSA's position on the Annual National Assessment (ANA) as presented by Dr Anthea Cereseto (NAPTOSA Deputy President).
MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION’S WALKING AWAY FROM ANA MEDIATION CAUSES TURMOIL IN EDUCATION
Joint Media Statement
Organised labour in the Basic Education sector, regrets the unilateral withdrawal from mediation by the Minister of Basic Education despite an agreement on the Annual National Assessment(ANA) being reached on Thursday, 19 November 2015. This is the second withdrawal on the agreement reached with the unions on the issue by the Minister that has put education in turmoil.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE), in their letter to the mediator, signed by the Director General, indicates that the mediation process failed on account of; “The last insertion of suggested wording to the settlement agreement that sought to make the writing of the ANA 2015 voluntary, defeated all attempts to find each other.” What this indicates is that the mediation process failed on the basis of the word “voluntarily”. We must clarify that this clause was included in the initial draft settlement that they themselves had agreed to (see attached draft agreement).
NAPTOSA learnt with surprise and shock that the Minister of Basic Education has decided to withdraw from the mediation process which was seeking to find a solution to the DBE intention to force learners at schools to write the ANAs at the beginning of December this year. The mediation process was one which all education sector unions were happy to participate in, and we assumed that the DBE was as well.
Therefore after a meaningful process since 2 November and with an agreement insight it was extremely disappointing to learn that the Minister decided to declare a deadlock. In fact an agreement had been virtually hammered out and was due to be signed on Friday 20 November 2015. There may have been a phrase or two that required refinement, but the essence of an agreement was in place. No meeting to sign took place after the DBE postponed, and on Monday we learnt with shock from the mediator that the Minister had withdrawn by declaring a deadlock. We can only conclude that the DBE were participating in bad faith. We are aware that the Minister hastily convened a meeting with Governing Body associations, principal associations and student formations in an attempt to elicit support, but failed to contact any of the Unions involved (NAPTOSA, SADTU, SAOU, NATU or PEU).
The DBE has issued a Circular (No 4 of 2015) to Provinces, District Directors and School Principals instructing, inter alia, that
- The writing of the ANA 2015 will take place from 26 November to 4 December 2015, at a time and place that is convenient to the school. The school must determine the timetable for the writing of these tests.
- The Provincial Education Departments must issue a provincial circular to schools confirming the date on which the tests will be available for collection.
- The marking will be done by teachers at school and should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
- During the first quarter of 2016 ANA scripts will be collected from a sample of schools for external moderation.