Sadtu rejects proposal to allow alcohol sale in school premises

SABC News reports that final public hearings regarding the The Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill that proposes the sale and consumption of liquor at schools, under certain conditions, were held in Cape Town on Tuesday  night. The largest teachers union, SADTU says it has several concerns regarding proposed amendments and has highlighted the proposal regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol on school premises or at school functions. The amendment bill also prescribes that pupils found guilty of serious misconduct may be sent to intervention facilities.

SADTU’s Jonovan Rustin says the sale and consumption of alcohol is just one of the proposals the union is rejecting.  “It legalised collaboration schools which is contravention of South African Schools Act because it now gives either donors or partners the right to have more than 50% on the governing body. We also have a problem with the sale of alcohol on schools saying that as teachers we are trying ensure and the sale of alcohol on schools work against with what we are trying to do with in the schools.” SADTU and the regional SACP marched ahead of the final hearings last night. Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department says it will fully consider the inputs and comments received from the public. A total of six public hearings have taken place since June this year. The public has until the 24th of August to submit written submissions regarding the bill.

by Carmel Loggenberg-Roberts

NUM declares a dispute with the Minerals Council

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has today declared a wage dispute with the Minerals Council of South Africa. The dispute comes amid the gold producers having further insulted mineworkers by tabling offers ranging from R675 for category 4 to 8 (surface and underground workers) and 5% for artisans, miners, and officials. The NUM is extremely disappointed and angered that Sibanye Stillwater is the one that is offering the lowest in terms of wages.

The company is offering wage increases ranging from R500 for category 4 to 8 (surface and underground workers) and 4% for artisans, miners, and officials. The NUM’s demands are R9450 for surface workers, R10450 for underground workers and 14.5% for miners artisans and officials. The dispute will be referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for facilitation and is one step away from a legal, protected strike action.

Members of the NCOP to vote

The National Council of Provinces is scheduled to debate and vote on the National Minimum Wage, Basic Conditions of Employment, Labour Relations and Labour Laws Amendment Bills at 2pm tomorrow21 August 2018.  COSATU urges the Members of the NCOP to vote in support of these progressive bills.  Their passage will be an historic victory for millions of workers.

NEHAWU and SASCO to meet minister Pandor on NSFAS issues

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] and the South African Students Congress [SASCO] will meet the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Minister Naledi Pandor, on issues related to the National Students Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS] in Cape Town this morning. Last week Tuesday [14th August 2018] a letter was written to the Minister to demand answers on the following issues:

  • On what basis did the Minister change her mind from a concurred view with us that NSFAS was on the stage of collapse?
  • What happened to the demand of both NEHAWU and SASCO on the immediate dissolution of the board?
  • As we are hearing her intention to appoint a new administrator to oversee the scheme, we would like to know the terms of reference before such an appointment is made. Unfortunately, the minister went ahead to appoint the administrator without replying to our questions.
  • We would like to establish whether the Minister is prepared to institute an inquiry into alleged appointment of friends and relatives by the Mr Zwane.

Today’s meeting is convened by the Minister to supposedly respond to the above questions. The public and the media will be briefed accordingly on the outcomes of the meeting and our planned course of action thereafter.

Samwu reaches agreement

TimesLive reports that following protracted wage negotiations‚ the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the SA Local Government Association (Salga) have finally agreed to a 7% salary increase for municipal workers. Mathe said the ongoing negotiations have caused uncertainty and frustration for the workers. “These negotiations had been protracted to a point where municipal workers had become frustrated‚ as the previous agreement had lapsed and they did not know what increment they would be getting‚” he said.

The two parties signed a three-year agreement that also provides for an additional 0.5% salary increment for employees earning below R9‚000; a 7% homeowner’s allowance; a non-pensionable allowance of R350 for employees earning less than R9‚000; and a maximum employer contribution towards medical aid that will increase by the same salary increment.

by Nonkululeko Njilo

NUM to embark on a protest march

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Matlosana Region will march to Harmony Gold in Vaal Reefs Orkney. Harmony Gold bought various shafts in Vaal Reefs Orkney from AngloGold Ashanti and took over the operations in March 2018. Since Harmony took over, there has been an increase of illegal miners who are freely staying in the mine’s property and are allegedly terrorising and raping women in the area. Despite all the dangers faced by workers and community at large, Harmony Gold is refusing to provide transport for workers from their residential areas to shafts.

Harmony Gold is not willing to increase salaries like their industry peers in the Gold Sector. There has to be a change of heart by Harmony Gold or NUM Matlosana Region will have no other option except to mobilise all workers to withdraw their labour. The NUM Matlosana Regions invites all workers to join in a protest march to raise all concerns with the company. The protest march  to Moab Khotsong is scheduled as follows:

Date : 21 August 2018
Time :14H00
Venue :Moab khotsong Mine

COSATU makes presentation on PIC Amendment Bill

COSATU will present its submission and proposals to further strenghten the second PIC Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance at 2pm Wednesday 15 August, Committee Room 1, 120 Plein Street, Parliament.

COSATU is pleased that Parliament has responded decisively and positively to our demands to protect workers’ GEPF, UIF and COIDA investments in the PIC.  This is workers’ hard earned money.  COSATU will stop at nothing to protect it from the many looting brigades that have fleeced our nation. COSATU urges Parliament to pass this bill as a matter of the highest urgency and before Parliament concludes its work in November.

COSATU to Present Proposals on Tackling Taxi Related Crimes

COSATU will present a joint COSATU POPCRU submission to the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Police on how to combat the never ending pandemic of taxi related crimes between 9am and 1pm, Wednesday 15 August, in Parliament. The taxi industry provides a key public good for millions of workers and commuters.  It is life line for the economy that most South Africans depend upon in the absence of reliable, serious or safe alternative public transport.

However it is an industry notorious from chaos, lawlessness, complete disregard for traffic, labour, tax, criminal and corruption laws.  Syndicates, criminals, gangs, money laundering, hit squads and rapes are frequent occurrences in the sector.  They make the daily commute to work and school a living nightmare for millions of workers, especially women and girls. Despite many laudable plans, to date government has been found badly wanting on dealing with this crisis of anarchy.

SACTWU strikes at National Chicks

The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU)  has commenced a protected wage strike at National Chicks in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The strike started last Thursday, 8 August 2018. A strike ballot was conducting amongst workers a month ago, in which 81%  of our 390 the union’s members had voted in favour of strike action.

SACTWU members are demanding a 10% wage increase, a 13th cheque and a production bonus. The farmer has offered 7% wage increase only. National Chicks is part of the Astrid Group which is the sister group of County Fair.

Union demands delay Eskom wage agreements

SABC News reports that Eskom was set to sign a wage agreement with striking unions on Thursday ending a strike that has lasted over two months, however a precondition set by labour unions has set back the signing of the agreement. The power utility has been engaged in wage negotiations with labour unions NUMSA, the NUM and Solidarity.

On Wednesday, the unions accepted the latest offer which includes a R10 000 once off payment to workers who fall under the bargaining unit plus a 7.5% salary increase this year and another 7% for 2019 and 2020. The unions however will only sign on the basis that those workers who were striking do not face disciplinary action. Eskom did not agree to this stipulation prompting the unions to request a meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board. The CCMA has called on Eskom to allow the meeting to take place early next week.