South Africa’s leading Police and Prisons Union (POPCRU) has thrown its weight behind the mass action by the South African Democratic Teachers Union. POPCRU believes that SADTU’s fight to ensure that the Basic Education Minister implements the withdrawn Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 is important for all Bargaining processes in the labour market. SADTU has our unreserved support as their plight is ours because should we let the employer get away with reneging on agreements, who is to say this will not be done to other Public Sector Unions.
We also acknowledge the effect that the mass action will have on our children’s schooling but believe this is a necessary temporary inconvenience. South Africa has some of the world’s best Collective Bargaining Structures and each one of the country’s citizens needs to protect these. When agreements are signed, it should not then be left to one party to the agreement to change it as they like.
POPCRU also opposes the abuse of state funds in legal processes to defend this decision. There are pressing needs in various schools across the country, not to mention the lack of decent buildings where the millions which the department is spending in legal fees could be invested. We appeal with the minister to swallow her pride and admit her shortsightedness with regard to this matter as in hindsight it is very clear that her actions seek to erode our hard gained rights.
Our 150 000 members support SADTU’s “Work to Rule” stance.
Issued by POPCRU on 22 May 2013
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