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Chapter 12

PERSONNEL MATTERS

12.9 EDUCATOR: GRIEVANCES

12.9.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998, Chapter H [EEA]

COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

  • PSCBC Resolution: Grievance rules for the public service [CA 14/2002]

Limpopo

GUIDELINES

  • Grievance Handling [Reference List B5 LIM GRIEV]

WesternCape

GUIDELINES

  • WCED Salary Negotiations: Possible Industrial Action by Public Service Unions Minute No. DLR 0001/2004 [See Reference B9 DLR 0001/2004 and DLR 0002/2004 ]
  • WCED DLR 0001/2005:  Important procedures to be followed when an employee is suspended as a precautionary measure [Reference B9 DLR 0001/2005]

12.9.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Educators: Grievances

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

  1.  Objective
    The objective of this grievance procedure is to seek to resolve a complaint at the personal level as quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible. It is aimed at avoiding a grievance becoming a dispute. In the case where a grievance cannot be resolved through this process and is consequently registered as a dispute in terms of the provisions of the constitution of the Education Labour Relations Council, such registered dispute shall be dealt with in terms of the dispute resolution procedure as set out in the said constitution.
  2. Definition
    A grievance is a complaint by an employee or employees affecting the employment relationship of the person or persons concerned, or where there is an alleged misinterpretation, or violation of his or her, or their rights.
  3. Dealing with grievances
    Grievances shall be dealt with in the following manner.

    • Oral interview
      • A sincere attempt should be made to resolve any grievance by oral interview between a grievant or grievants and the head of a school or college (herein after referred to as “the head”), and in the case of an educational institution outside a school or college or the head of a school or college, the supervisor (hereinafter referred to as “the supervisor”), before differences become formalised grievances.
      • During this process no records will be kept of proceedings which will be without prejudice to either of the parties.
    • Formal written grievance: Institutional level, (school/college) and departmental level
      • A grievant or grievants may lodge a grievance or grievances with the head or the supervisor in writing within a reasonable period of time, but in any event not later than 90 calendar days following on the time and date on which the alleged grievance or grievances occurred. Full details of the nature of the grievance or grievances must be relayed to the head or the supervisor, as the case may be. The grievance or grievances must bear the signature or signatures of the grievant or the grievants and a copy thereof shall be filed with the relevant office of the provincial department of education by the head or supervisor, as the case may be, which office shall be identified by the relevant head of a provincial department in each province.
      • The head or the supervisor, as the case may be, shall confer with the grievant or grievants, and others involved, within 3 working days of receipt of the formal written grievance in order to resolve the grievance. At this meeting the facts shall be presented and considered and an effort shall be made to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties.
      • The head or the supervisor, as the case may be, shall communicate the outcome to the relevant office of the provincial department of education within 5 working days of the resolution or non-resolution of a grievance.
      • If an action or lack of an action, or a decision or lack of a decision, concerns the head or the supervisor, the grievant or grievants may refer the matter directly to the regional/district level in respect of a school/college and departmental level in respect of an institution outside a school/college, provided that a sincere attempt has been made to resolve the grievance or grievances.
    • Regional/district level in respect of a school/college and departmental level in respect of an institution outside a school/college
      • If the grievant or grievants is/are not satisfied with the outcome above, the grievant or grievants may refer the matter in writing, by hand or registered mail, together with the decision of the head or the supervisor, as the case may be, to the regional/district head of education in the case of an educator at a school/college and in the case of an educator outside a school/college to the office referred to within 5 working days of the parties failing to resolve the grievance or grievances. A copy of the referral must be presented to the head or supervisor, as the case may be, and where applicable, to the grievant or grievants’ trade union.
      • The head or the supervisor shall forward his or her comments together with all relevant information on the grievance or grievances to the regional/district head or the office referred to above as the case may be, within 5 working days after receiving the referral.
      • The head of the region/district or the head of the relevant provincial education department, or his or her delegate in respect of an educator outside an educational institution, shall within 5 working days from the date of receipt of all the parties’ referrals, attempt to resolve the grievance or grievances and communicate his or her decision in writing to all parties.
      • Should the grievant or grievants not be satisfied with the outcome, he or she may register a formal dispute with the Executive Officer of the Education Labour Relations Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Council”) in terms of the provisions of the Council’s constitution.
    • A trade union registered with the Council may register a grievance with the head or supervisor or the head of a relevant department of education, as the case may be, on behalf of its members individually or collectively and represent such member or members during any stage of this grievance procedure. A non-member or non-members may be represented by another employee.