PSES 461-17/18 KZN
Award  Date:
28 November 2017
Case Number: PSES 461-17/18 KZN
Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Applicant: SAOU o.b.o. M. Smit
Respondent: Department of Education KwaZulu-Natal
Issue: Unfair Labour Practice - Interpretation of collective agreements
Venue: Department of Education, Queensgate Building, Corner Queen
Award Date: 28 November 2017
Arbitrator: J.D. Vedan
Arbitrator: J.D. Vedan
Case Reference No.: PSES 461-17/18 KZN
Date of hearing: 28 November 2017

In the arbitration between:

SAOU o.b.o. M. Smit Applicant/Employee party


Department of Education – KwaZulu-Natal Respondent/Employer party

Applicant’s representative: E. Hiepner
Tel: 031-312 8835

Respondent’s representative: S.C. Ngcobo
Tel: 082 899 8860


1. The matter was held at the Department of Education, Queensgate Building, Corner Queen
and Keate Streets on 30 November 2017 at 10:00 am.

2. The Applicant was represented by E. Hiepner, an Union Official.

3. The Respondent was represented by S. C. Ngcobo, its representative.

4. The parties were to submit written statements by 7 December 2017, and thereafter make further statements by 11 December 2017.


5. It is common cause that the Applicant was a matriculant, who was appointed by the Governing Body of Ladybrand Primary School from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006. She was appointed as an unqualified Educator, and thereafter was appointed by Monument Primary School from 1 January 2007 to 7 October 2012.

6. She obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree (Pre-School and Foundation Phase) on 9 May 2011. Thereafter she was appointed permanently by the Department of Education from 8 October 2012. She was placed on notch 085 for beginner Educator, with her previous experience not being recognised for salary purposes, and herein lies the nub of the dispute.


7. Whether the Applicant’s previous service as an Educator in a Governing Body post is to be recognised for salary purposes in terms of the interpretation and application of the relevant Collective Agreement?


8. The Applicant stated that Collective Agreement 4 of 2003 clearly states in paragraph 3.2 that the starting salary of a newly appointed Educator is the minimum notch of the applicable salary scale, provided that the following recognition for actually teaching or other suitable experience is given.

9. “Experience on or after 1 April 2003:
For each full year of recognisable experience gained, a notch increment will be
2. Collective Agreement 5 of 2003 clearly shows in paragraph
4 c(iii)
Salary Detemination
a. Appointment in a post level 1.
o The qualification category and corresponding salary scale are determined (M+4)
o The candidate’s recognizable experience is determined. (6 years)
o For each year of recognizable experience, one salary notch above the minimum of the scale is awarded to a maximum of the scale. (Notch 091)
3. Revised PAM 2016
B.8.4 Determining of salaries of educators:

B.8.4.3 Salary of an educator who has actual teaching or appropriate experience outside public education (ELRC Collective Agreements 5 of 2003 and 4 of 2003).
Note: actual teaching experience outside public education includes, inter alia, experience gained in an independent school, as a SGB or college council employee, AET educator or teaching experience abroad.
B8.4.3.1(e) For every twelve months of actual teaching or appropriate experience that an educator has gained, he/she will be granted one additional notch (at least 1%) on the applicable salary range.
By the time Mrs Smit was first appointed by the DoE, she was fully qualified and she had 6 years’ educational experience. The starting notch for M+4 teachers is 085 (OSD) for this reason Mrs. Smit should first have been placed on notch 085 and then, according to the prescripts as mentioned above, gained 6 notches for her 6 years’ experience.”


10. The Respondent on the other hand stated that in terms of paragraph 11.3 of the Regulation, regarding employment of Educators states that, “All experience recognition in terms of sub regulation (2) shall be deemed to be experience gained after a candidate has been placed in a qualification category.”

11. The Respondent further added it is clear that the experience that the Applicant gained during the period 1 January 2006 to 7 October 2012 cannot be used for salary purposes. The Respondent further added that she was supposed to be placed in the minimum notch applicable to Educators, who are in possession of a Bachelors Degree, and this was accordingly done.
12. Her years of experience at Monument Primary School were not taken into account. The Respondent argued that this could not be recognised for salary purposes.


13. It is common cause that the Applicant was a matriculant, who was employed by the School Governing Body at two schools, namely Ladybrand Primary School and Monument Primary School.

14. It is further common cause that when she was appointed by the H.O.D. on 8 October 2012, she was appointed on notch 085 for beginner Educator.

15. Regulation 11 of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 states as follows:

“11. (1) The types of experience and the extent of recognition of such experience on the
appointment of an educator shall be as follows:
(a) Actual educator’s experience shall include all experience gained while the person held an educators post: Provided that the period of initial compulsory military service shall be deemed to be actual educator’s experience;
(b) Appropriate experience shall include working experience which, in the opinion of the Minister, develops the candidate, directly and appositely, in all respects regarding knowledge, skill and attitude, for holding an educator’s post;
(c) Other experience shall include experience other than actual educator’s experience and appropriate experience recognised by the Minister.
(2) The different types of experience referred to in subregulation (1) shall be recognised
to the following extent:
(a) Actual educator’s experience – full recognition.
(b) Appropriate experience – full recognition.
(c) Other experience – one year’s recognition for every two years experience (that is, the number of years, months and days of experience is divided by two and parts of days fall away).
(3) All experience recognised in terms of subregulation (2) shall be deemed to be
experience gained after a candidate has been placed in a qualification category.”

16. She was appointed as an unqualified Educator by the School Governing Body of the respective schools, namely Ladybrand Primary School and Monument Primary School, and as such in term of the said regulation, her previous experience cannot be taken into account.

17. The reference in the revised PAM 2016 refers to Educators, and as such this implies a qualified Educator, and not an unqualified Educator, as does the Collective Agreement referred to. It is therefore correct that when she was appointed she was placed on a correct notch for educators who are in possession of a Bachelors Degree.


18. I find that in terms of the necessary Act, Rules and Regulations the Applicant’s previous experience as an unqualified Educator cannot be taken into account, and that she had been placed on the correct notch by the Respondent.


19. The application is dismissed.

20. There is no order as to costs.

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