n South African Journal of Education - Sieninge van 'n groep swart opvoeders oor onderwysersunielidmaatskap en -doelstellinge

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



A group of black educators' views on membership and objectives of teachers' unions.

The internationally recognised right of association is recognised in South Africa by the constitution and the Labour Relations Act. Each worker, including educators, has the right to participate in establishing a trade union and to join the trade union of his/her choice. However, some politicians and academics doubt whether the educator as active trade union member can be reconciled with the professional educator. The article reports, against the background of a brief literature review of trade unions in general and teachers' trade unions in particular, on an empirical study of a group of educators' reasons for trade union membership, as well as their participation in and views of teachers' unions. The study showed that the teachers' union members who participated in the study participated actively in trade union activities. It also appeared that educators joined trade unions for economic, professional, educational, political, social and psychological reasons, amongst others. Respondents regarded the role of teachers ' unions in education policy matters, professional development of educators, and improvement in the economic position of members as the most important objectives of teachers' unions.

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