Good morning colleagues and friends. On this Human Rights Day, I choose to embrace and to promote peace education. I choose to help restore and respect the dignity of others. I choose to provide quality education and to keep on fighting to ensure that our children learn within enabling environments. I also pledge to do my bit to ensure that our children are able to read with comprehension and that they are able to write and to count.
Thousands of schools in SA lack the infrastructure necessary to provide quality education to learners which they are legally entitled to receive.
This is a violation of our children's rights. If we fold our arms and do nothing about it, our children will continue to die in pit toilets. Our children will continue to be dehumanized. We will be equally guilty of violating their rights.
When you celebrate the Human Rights Day, think about our teachers who are teaching in appalling conditions. Think of our teachers and learners who are denied their rights to teach and learn, respectively in safe environments.
" I am because you are"
With D-day, 1 April 2018, looming for the increase in the VAT rate, NAPTOSA wishes to reiterate its position adopted in its response to the budget speech of the then Minister of Finance, namely that the increase will impact the poor, but also the “missing middle” income group that includes the teachers.
Having had time for an in-depth reflection on the VAT increase debate, the leadership of NAPTOSA supports the calls for the decision to be reversed.
Had it not been for the years of corruption, wastage and ill-conceived policies that have taken South Africa to the brink of the fiscal cliff, a VAT increase could possibly have been palatable to justify improved and expanded services to the citizens of this country. But then again, there would not have been a need for such an increase if billions had not been lost through sheer greed, poor financial management and the bottomless pit called State Owned Enterprises.
Any opposition action by NAPTOSA alone will, however, have little impact, as would be the case with any other individual organization. If collective and cohesive civil action, as espoused by many organisations, however, come to fruition, NAPTOSA leadership will encourage members to support such action. As always, NAPTOSA will be swayed by the views of the majority of its members.
If, however, the implementation of the VAT increase goes ahead despite the general opposition to it, NAPTOSA calls on government to urgently re-examine the list of zero-rated items and to expand it to critical items that are necessities for the poor, including a balanced diet range of basic foodstuffs and other basic necessities, such as low-cost clothing and blankets.
To NAPTOSA the needs of basic education and therefore the needs of our members remain paramount. As a union we therefore wish to see similar, but better thought through policies, implemented for basic education as had been the case for higher education.
NAPTOSA STATEMENT ON DEATH OF PUPIL, SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND POLICY DEFICIENCIES: 16 MARCH 2018
Another bleak and blemished day on the South African education system calendar has left NAPTOSA outraged, disappointed and saddened.
Death of a pupil as a result of poor infrastructure, violence in schools, absence of teachers from class rooms and deficient policies at school level, all in one day, is nearly too much to bear.
NAPTOSA has for many years been critical of the slow pace of infrastructure improvements and renewal in schools, especially in the areas of sanitation, water and electricity. We are therefore saddened to learn of the death of a pupil in a pit latrine in the Eastern Cape. Our commiserations to the parents of the pupil. NAPTOSA once again calls on the Department of Basic Education to fast-track the elimination of these latrines from all the schools where they are still in use.
The violence between learners of a school in Eldorado, witnessed on social media, is also strongly condemned by NAPTOSA. What makes it worse is that the incident was exacerbated by the absence of teachers who were on strike on the day. This is totally unacceptable.
On top of this we had the sickening report of the alleged sexual abuse of learners by the police official who was supposed to prepare them for the trial of the person who had abused them at school. Can things become worse?
Messages are doing the rounds on social media that an agreement has been reached in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) on a wage increase for 2018. According to the information, the salary increase will be 7,7%. Furthermore that educators will receive an additional 0,5 % on their pay progression and that the housing allowance will be increased to R 1 500 p.m.
Please note that the wage negotiations stalled in February 2018 when the employer requested a postponement, presumably as a result of the political changes in the country and the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle which saw the appointment of new Ministers for the Public Service and Administration as well as Finance. There is, therefore, no agreement on a salary increase and the other benefits mentioned above at this stage. Any message that suggests otherwise should be treated as fake news.
NAPTOSA has requested the Minister for Public Service and Administration to move with speed to reignite the wage negotiations as the date for salary increases (1 April) is looming. We trust that this will happen soon. Members will be informed accordingly.