Managing Human Resources in South African Schools

image of Managing Human Resources in South African Schools

“All South Africans must now unite and join hands and say we are one country, one nation, one people, marching together into the future.” Nelson Mandela

This book is underpinned by the philosophy that effective management of all staff in schools is essential if the challenges of educating South Africa’s youth are to be met. Good managers are able to recruit, select, motivate and monitor teachers and other staff.

The purpose of the book is to provide guidelines for professional development and competence in managing staff effectively. Case examples are provided throughout to enable practical application to specific contexts.



The Industrial Relations and Professional Tension

Industrial relations brings to mind images of unruly pickets, with teachers “toyi - toying”1 and learners locked out of school. The popular view is that industrial relations is about trade unions and strikes. However, as Bratton and Gold (1994) point out, such images do not fully capture the reality of industrial relations, which is actually about work and the employment relationship. Its focus is on the institutions, legislative controls and mechanisms that regulate and control this relationship. It deals with the social, economic and political dimensions within which employees provide manual and mental labour in exchange for rewards provided by the employer. Where employees are represented by a union, these rewards are determined through a collective bargaining process. Managing the interaction between union and management is key to avoiding the conflicts often associated with industrial relations and is a significant part of human resource management (HRM).


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