The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has refuted claims by members of trade union Solidarity that some teachers will lose jobs in 2018.
“It is sad that Solidarity demands that the department keep to the original allocation of teacher posts, irrespective of changes to learner population at different schools. We are ready for their ploy to run to court on this matter,” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday.
Some school principals, who are members of Solidarity, claim that about 1 800 posts could be lost when changes are made to teacher post allocations. The claims were made in an article published in the Rapport newspaper on Sunday.
MEC Lesufi said it was disingenuous for some principals to claim that they did not get feedback from the department.
“We are actually baffled that they resorted to communicate with us through Solidarity and the media, when the department have afforded them channels to address their appeals. We cannot comprehend this malicious stance portrayed in the mentioned statement. It is disappointing for them to fabricate in this manner,” said MEC Lesufi.
According to the department, annual post allocations are conducted to ensure that schools that shrink or grow in learner population still have a fair amount of teachers.
“In simple terms, schools that experience learner reduction will be affected by redistribution of teacher posts and those schools that have grown will gain posts from redistribution. It is important [to note] that [this] is based on learner numbers,” said the department.
Instead of retrenchments, as claimed in the Rapport article, the department said teachers will be redeployed in line with departmental redeployment policy. The policy was ratified by labour parties, which are members to the Educator Labour Relations Council (ELRC).
Post allocation process
In a statement, the department detailed the process followed on teacher allocation posts. It said the following process was undertaken:
- Consultation with unions on the proposed post establishment for schools deadlocked at Provincial Educator Labour Relations Council (PELRC).
- GDE approved and distributed post establishments to schools on 12 October 2017.
- Unions rejected the approved post establishments and urged schools not to accept them.
- Special chamber held on 10 November 2017 resolved that GDE must revise and distribute the post establishments to schools for information verification.
- An agreement was reached by all parties to retain the 2017 total post number for the 2018 academic year.
- GDE tabled the revised post establishment at PELRC on 17 November 2017 and this was ratified.
- Final revised Post Establishment letters were issued on 30 November 2017 to schools.
The department has approved 500 posts to address learner growth in the 2018 academic year.
The appeal process was shared with schools, subsequently the department received more than 100 appeals and each school was responded to through the district offices on 8 December 2017.