Today's Labour News

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education blackboard thumb medium80 92BusinessLive reports that the Essential Services Committee (ESC) is investigating whether to declare teachers and education support staff essential services, following a request from the Democratic Alliance (DA).  

The probe by the ESC, which functions in terms of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), has potentially far-reaching implications, as workers who are deemed to render essential services have a limited right to strike.  The LRA defines an essential service as one that, if interrupted, would endanger the life, personal safety or health of part of or all of the population.  The DA’s Nomsa Marchesi said they sought to ensure that pupils were safe and secure at school in the event of industrial action.  The ANC has also previously called for teaching to be declared an essential service, but the proposal was shot down by teacher unions, which described it as unconstitutional.  Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), said teaching could not be an essential service because "no life is threatened once it is not rendered".  The ESC will be holding public hearings on the matter in various cities during July.  It is also conducting an investigation into whether public transport services should be declared an essential service.

  • Read this report by Tamar Kahn and Bekezela Phakathi in full at BusinessLive

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