Teachers have been vindicated

SHARE   |   Monday, 14 September 2015   |   By Tobokani Rari
Teachers have been vindicated

This should be kept in the archives of history for revisitation one day, it should never be thrown out in the dustbins of history. History shall one day vindicate this union. It started with a protest that it cannot be, that employees of an autonomous entity could be engaged to do duty for another autonomous entity which is a creature of parliament.
A back to back, and hit and run war ensued with the MoE, in particular with a defiant Makhandlela. Irresistibly pressure was mounted by BOSETU with some pressurizing the union to seek legal interpretation on the matter. However lawyers advised that courts don't just interpret the law without a life dispute, and as such someone has to be charged to create fodder for the courts to intervene.
BOSETU provoked a life dispute by writing Makhandlela informing him that it's members would not perform functions of the BEC, and typical of him, trigger happy as he was, he wrote to instruct teachers that it's part of their duty to invigilate. The two parties were now clearly on a collision course and there was a potential dispute about to be full blown.
With Makhandela's letter, the union, BOSETU approached the courts. Phumaphi J. as then was agreed with BOSETU assertion that parliament in its wisdom created BEC deliberately to cede examination functions to a different entity and it is erroneous to argue that such functions are for teachers who are employees of a different organ.
During that time teachers were extremely exploited, doing this BEC work purely for nothing. Invigilation was not remunerated and teachers were paid P1 for marking a student project. Since the outcome of the BOSETU case in 2009, the rest has become history, the unions engage with the Ministry on a yearly bases producing agreements of better rates.
This year, the ministry wanted to resist, playing a hide and seek game, the union mounted pressure, they came back to a table resulting in an agreement yesterday.
It's worth acknowledging that all these happen because of the backing of yourselves as members comrades, and we would like to thank you for your resilience. When we requested that you hold on to the marks of course work, you responded positively and the pressure was felt on the other side. For that comrades as the leadership, we are indebted for your support.
We are moving into yet another terrain, engaging BEC on a memorandum of understanding that will define our engagement with them. We intend to engage BEC on marking rates, allowances, hours of work during marking and conditions of work at the marking centers. We as usual would depend on your support to negotiate better marking rates and conditions.
We are aware comrades of the attempt to reverse the gains made in this regard through a draft BEC bill that has been published in the government gazette of 21st August 2015 that seeks to cede the duties of the BEC to Examination Centres and teachers. We are working around the clock to consult legal brains on the matter in a view to later take appropriate action as would be advised.
Tobokani Rari
BOSETU Secretary General

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