This study explores the role of teacher unions in the appointment and promotions of teachers in public schools. It focuses on the perspective that teacher unions are often seen as the principal contributors to the challenges that are experienced by schools during the appointment and promotion process and to the overall ineffectiveness of the school system. The study was framed by the following research questions:
? What is the role of teacher unions in the appointment and promotion of teachers in public schools?
? What are the factors influencing the process of appointment and promotion?
A qualitative case study was used and data were collected in two secondary schools in Gauteng Province. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with principals, SGB teacher representatives, SGB parent members and teacher union representatives. The Departmental Official from the Labour Relation Unit at Johannesburg east, also participated in the interviews.
The research established that even though there are Educational policy guidelines that are made available to guiding schools on how the process of appointment and promotion is conducted, schools are still experiencing major challenges with some stakeholders who could not keep to their roles. Several factors such as the SGB?s level of education, the inadequate training of the SGB members, negotiated compromises and most importantly, the conflicting interest of the constituencies surfaced as factors conducive to the hindrance of pursuing fair processes when dealing with appointments and promotions. Further research is recommended in finding the ways and means of allowing teacher unions? roles to be reviewed by policy makers including the Department of Education.