The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has called off the Technical and Vocational Education and Training [TVET] and Community Education and Training [CET] national strike action after signing a settlement agreement with the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET]. The settlement agreement was signed at midday after marathon negotiations that started on Monday morning and concluded yesterday evening.
This settlement represents a victory for our members who have been marginalised by the department ever since the migration took place in 2015. As NEHAWU, we want to applaud our members and members in general for remaining resolute in their fight for better salaries, benefits and improved working conditions. Our strike has been a huge success because of the resilience shown by our members in the picket lines in all the colleges across the country.
This strike should serve as an inspiration to other workers that if they are united behind a common cause and determined to fight to be treated with dignity victory is always certain. NEHAWU would also like to take this opportunity to thank SASCO, YCLSA and SAFETSA for their support during the strike. As such, we have ensured that issues that affect students finds expression in our settlement agreement and clarified the process to be undertaken in resolving their issues. In this regard, the national union vows to fight side by side with students if their issues remain unresolved.
As NEHAWU, we are elated that all our demands have been met by the department and will watch with hawk eyes the implementation and ensure that the department sticks to the time frames agreed upon. After the negotiations parties have agreed as follows:
• Implementation of Section 198B of the LRA:
All employees who have been employed by the department and colleges will now be deemed to be permanently employed which is a victory to close to 3000 workers.
• Standardised job descriptions and salary levels:
The department has committed to the immediate reissuing and implementation of Circular 1 of 2017 and 2 of 2018 in ensuring standardization of salary levels and job profiles as per the job evaluation outcome.
• Finalisation of Post Provision Norms (PPN) processes and Personal Administrative Measures (PAM) for public colleges:
Parties have now agreed on tight timelines for this matter that has been on the agenda for many years.
• Provision of standardised benefits for CET Colleges:
This is the victory for CET workers as they will now in 2019 enjoy benefits like all other officials in the public service.
• Transfer of college paid staff into Persal:
The department indicated that the current PPN process has catered for all Ministerial programmes and agrees to the migration of staff currently rendering Ministerial programs, provided for by the PPN model, which is to be implemented 1 April 2020.
• Implementation of performance bonuses, grade progression payment and 37% in lieu of benefits:
Again the national union has ensured that the stagnant salaries are an issue of the past and that services of our members and all other employees in the sector will be corrected and they will be paid their dues. We have secured strict timeframes for the implementation • Bargaining Council levies:
The employer has committed that employees that are supposed to be at GPSSBC are transferred to that council and they no longer contribute to a wrong council. • Immediate reorganization of the exam unit, examination policy and the recognition of improved qualification
: On this demand we hope that students will also be happy because the agreement is addressing many issues in the exam unit.
• Filling of all vacant funded posts:
The department has committed to the filling of all vacant funded posts and we view this as victory to our members.
• Skilling of Lecturers:
In line with the outcomes of the Lecturers development conference parties agree on the finalization and implementation of the outcomes.
• Insourcing of all outsourced services:
Parties agreed on developing modalities for insourcing based on the PPN project outcomes.
• Consultations between union leadership and the office of the minister:
The parties agree to elevate the following issues to the appropriate level: TVET / CET summit between the department, unions and students formations to deal with the following:  Responsive and relevant TVET / CET curriculum linked to the economic development growth of the country and the skills demand  Decentralization of NSFAS  Decentralization of the DHET functions.
• The implementation of a dedicated infrastructure development for TVET colleges:
The department has committed to the dedicated infrastructure development and parties will work on modalities.
• Policy related matters:
Parties agreed to a consultative meeting at the level of the Chamber, that will deal with the following:  Utilisation of the scare skill policy  Establishment of SAIVCET  All policy matters applicable to the sector
The department has committed that there will be no victimization or intimidation of members and shop stewards after the strike. Parties commit to do an assessment of the impact of the strike including voluntary participation in the catch up programme. In this regard, we want members, students and the public for the high levels of discipline and tolerance they have demonstrated during the strike period. We kindly urge all members and workers to return to work tomorrow morning Thursday 28th February 2019.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za