Migration Plan At The Centre of Discourse With Unions
In a meeting that was held on the 7th of April 2017 at the Leadership Institute in East London, the Head of Department, Mr. Themba Kojana called all unions for a briefing and engagement on the implementation of the Service Delivery Model in the Department.
Critical to this is the migration plan and the Department “must ensure that the implementation process runs smoothly”, said Kojana. “Also at the center is the reduction of the education districts from 23 to 12 districts.” As of 1st of April 2017 the Department of Education is comprised of the following Districts:
OR Tambo Coastal, OR Tambo Inland, Alfred Nzo West, Alfred Nzo East, Joe Gqabi, Chris Hani West, Chris Hani East, Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay, Sarah Baartman, Amathole West and Amathole East.
In his presentation, Mr. Mthobeli Gaca, the Chief Director for District Coordination spoke of the following key migration principles:
- 1. Employment Security
- 2. Skills retention and Improvement
- 3. No rights by virtue of acting or seconded status will be recognized
- 4. Need to match the right skills and competencies with the right positions to meet strategic objectives
- 5. Establishment of a basis for Skills development and employment equity
- 6. Commitment by the Department to and acceptance of the transformation plan as the pillar and point of departure for all education delivery programs
- 7. Facilitation of a smooth transition to the new organizational structure with the least possible disruption for staff and the department
- 8. Promotion of efficiency, effectiveness and an unhindered continuation of services
- 9. Compliance and adherence to the applicable employment and labour legislation
- 10. Fairness, transparency and due regard to the personal circumstances and preferences of staff where possible
- 1. Job descriptions/profiles will be developed for all posts on the organogram and will thereafter be subjected to a job evaluation process except for occupational specific dispensation (OSD) posts
- 2. Once the new structure has been finalized and approved, the existing organizational structure/s of the ECDoE will be abolished
- 3. All newly created and reconfigured positions will be identified for implementation prioritization to address the current pressures related to operational requirements and the strategic goals and objectives of the Department
- 4. The guidelines, which will be shared with management and labour, and communicated to all employees, will adhere to when executing the migration process to ensure a smooth, structured, consistent and transparent process
- 5. There will be on-going communication and consultation with employees and their representatives throughout the process
- 6. The carrying out of a comprehensive review of personnel needs within the Department, as well as an audit of skills, qualifications and competencies of serving officials, including the age analysis of staff
- 7. The absorption of serving officials, wherever possible, when the work content of a post has not changed significantly and the incumbent has the requisite competencies, qualifications, skills, and experience
- 8. The appointment of persons from outside the DoE in order to attract scarce talent and promote greater representation, should take place only after all available internal human resource have been considered and with due regard to the objective of a learner DoE and this to be done through the normal recruitment processes
- 9. Employee grievances will be attended to promptly and employees will have the right appeal if adversely affected by the process
- 10. There will be strict compliance with the provisions of applicable of applicable legislation including the Public Finance and Management Act;1999, Treasury Regulations;2001, Public Service Act;1994 as amended and Public Service Regulations;2016, Labour Relations Act;1995, The Basic Conditions of Employment Act;1997, The Employment Equity Act;1998, the Skills Development Act;1998, and all other relevant legislation and policies as the Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedure, Resettlement Policy etc
He also indicated that this process would be managed guided by certain precepts and using the following tools:
Some of the fundamental areas that were hemmed in and carried in the presentation were: the configuration of the model, objectives of the Department the model must accomplish, migration map and the population of the structure.
Subsequent to the presentation, discussions ensued and it transpired that unions were never properly consulted and engaged on this matter, therefore, cannot engage on something they have no thorough and clear knowledge of. They raised the issue of Reference groups that stopped seating without any explanation.It then became clear that the meeting could not proceed until reference groups are reconvened and a migration workshop is organized where all social groups will submit inputs.
“From time to time we must always take each other on board so that everybody is comfortable in terms of the plans of the department”, said Kojana as he accepted and appreciated the way forward agreed on in the meeting.