Case Number: PSES 722-03/04 LP
Applicant: L P DIKGALE (SADTU)
Respondent: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LP
Issue: Unfair Labour Practice - Promotion/Demotion
Award Date: 10 March 2005
Arbitrator: A M CARRIM
IN THE ARBITRATION BETWEEN
SADTU obo DIKGALE L P (Applicant) and DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: LIMPOPO PROVINCE (Respondent)
DETAILS OF THE HEARING AND REPRESENTATION
The arbitration hearing was held on 10/02/2005 at Voorwaarts Building at the corner of Hospital and Hans Van Rensburg Streets, Polokwane, Limpopo Province.
The applicant party Mr L.P. Dikgale was present and was represented by L.M. Langa of SADTU.
The respondent party, the Department of Education, Limpopo Province was represented by their Mr M.M. Maseko.
1. A post of principalship at Ramasodi Primary School was advertised in 1997.
2. The post was advertised as a post level 3.
3. The applicant applied for the post and was appointed in 1998 in post level 3 as per advert.
ISSUE IN DISPUTE
Unfair labour practice - Whether the applicant was wrongfully appointed on Post Level 3 instead of Post Level 4.
The dispute was referred to conciliation and a certificate stating that the dispute
remains unresolved was issued. The dispute was referred to arbitration.
The parties agreed to submit legal arguments in writing.
The employer failed to submit their legal arguments. The employee party submitted legal arguments.
Mr L.P. Dikgale was appointed in a principalship post at Ramasodi Primary School on 02/09/1998. The post was incorrectly advertised as a post level 3 instead of a post level 4. The applicant sent numerous correspondences to both the District and Provincial Departments of Education to query this issue but it was not attended to.
It was indicated that Ramasodi Primary School is a very huge institution with a learner enrolment of +720 learners. In his various submissions to the department, the applicant appraised the respondent about the enormous responsibilities with such an enrolment. Mr Langa for the applicant indicated the enrolment as follows:
He indicated that the situation reflected above, requires a strong willed, motivated manager. The statistics provided are best known to the department as they are submitted to them in annual surveys but the mistake was never corrected.
He indicated that the department gave instructions for the regularization of wrongfully advertised promotional post levels of institutions in its circular 63 of 2001. There were similar schools in the same predicament as the one of Mr Dikgale which were corrected. E.g. Dithabaneng, Mahlatjane, Mmutle, etc. It appears that the department is not consistent in that it treats its employees differently.
The applicant is responsible for the administration and/or management of an institution of +720 learners and +18 educators. He has a Deputy Principal, his subordinate, on the same post level as his. He is expected to execute his administrative and managerial responsibilities without being compensated accordingly.
Mr Langa argued that the applicant’s appointment is not in accordance with the relevant legislation on the grading of institutions. He referred to Chapters A2.6 & 2.7 of the Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM). He also referred to the collective agreement, ELRC Resolution 3 of 2001 and Echo Guidelines stipulated in PAM.
He argued that the department did not comply with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) of 2000 in that it expects the applicant to work without being properly remunerated.
They request that:
1. the applicant’s post level be regularized to post level 4;
2. the applicant be paid his outstanding salary from 02/09/1998 (date of appointment) to date;
3. payments be effected on or before 31/05/2005; and
4. I make any other decision that I deem fit for fairness and justice to prevail.
The respondent failed to submit legal arguments as agreed in the arbitration session held on the 15/02/2005.
Section 2.6 of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 provides as follows:
2.6 Grading of Institutions
The rank (post level) of the head of an institution is determined in terms of the grading of the institution which is done in accordance with the number of learners in the institution. The following table is applicable:
Type of Educational Institution Number of Full-Time
Equivalent Learners Grading of Institution Post Level of Head of Institution
Pre-primary Schools Above required minimum but fewer than 60
61 – 119
Primary Ordinary Schools Above required minimum but fewer than 80
80 – 159 (as well as schools with fewer than 80 learners but with more than one educator)
160 – 719
Secondary Ordinary Schools and Combined Ordinary Schools Above required minimum but fewer than 630
From the enrolment in the applicant’s argument table above, it is clear that Ramasodi Primary School had a higher learner enrolment from 1997 up to 2002. From 2003 to date, the learner enrolment has dropped.
Section 2.7(c) of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 provides:
“Where the enrolment of an institution increases or decreases substantially and sufficient evidence exists that the new enrolment level will be maintained for a reasonable period, the head of the department may immediately re-grade the institution in accordance with the new enrolment level.”
In terms of Sections 2.6 and 2.7(c) of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998, at the time of the applicant’s appointment, Ramasodi Primary School was a grade P4 institution and the Head of such an institution should be appointed at Post Level 4.
I am therefore of the view that the applicant should have been in his post as Post Level 4 and he should have retained Post Level 4 until 2002. He was therefore incorrectly placed in Post Level 3 from date of his appointment, 1998, until 2002.
For the period from 2003 to date, the applicant’s correct post level is Post Level 3.
I therefore make my finding as follows:
1. That the Applicant was incorrectly appointed on Post Level 3 instead of Post Level 4 from date of his appointment, 1998, until 2002.
2. That Respondent is ordered to pay the Applicant the difference in salary paid at Post Level 3 scale and the salary paid at Post Level 4 scale from the date of his appointment, 02/09/98, up to 31/12/2002.
3. That the Respondent is ordered to make the above payment to the Applicant on or before 30/04/2005.
4. The applicant is since 2003 to date correctly placed in Post Level 3.
Page 4 of 4 pages
EDUCATION LABOUR RELATIONS COUNCIL
CASE NUMBER PSES 722-03/04 LP
APPLICANT L P DIKGALE (SADTU)
RESPONDENT DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LP
ARBITRATOR A M CARRIM
DATE OF ARBITRATION 10 FEBRUARY 2005
APPLICANT L M LANGA (SADTU)
RESPONDENT MR M M MASEKO
1 That the Applicant was incorrectly appointed on Post Level 3 instead of Post Level 4 from date of his appointment, 1998, until 2002.
2 That Respondent is ordered to pay the Applicant the difference in salary paid at Post Level 3 scale and the salary paid at Post Level 4 scale from the date of his appointment, 02/09/98, up to 31/12/2002.
3 That the Respondent is ordered to make the above payment to the Applicant on or before 30/04/2005.
4 The applicant is since 2003 to date correctly placed in Post Level 3.
DATE OF AWARD 10 MARCH 2005