We, the participating trade union federations, trade unions and civic organisations, who constitute the Workers’ College Council, hereby declare our commitment to the working class struggle to build egalitarian values and horizontal participatory and democratic traditions and processes in education and in the broader socio-political arena.
The dominant education discourse and practices serve to entrench social stratification and maintain the capitalist class structure that is driven by greed, individualism, crass materialism and the commodification of life.
Therefore, the Workers’ College sees itself as part of the counter hegemony to the dominant capitalist systems and structures, in pursuit of a working class agenda.
History has taught us that to achieve our goals we will have to:
Our educational practices and values are drawn from the struggle history, traditions and experiences of the working class in our country, and our motto is based on the people-centred popular education commitment: “People’s Education for People’s Power!”
These principles and values stated above shall be binding on all participating organisations.
NAME, LEGAL STATUS AND LOGO
2.1.1 The name of this organisation shall be Workers’ College.
The Workers’ College is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and must register and function as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO).
2.3.1 The logo of the Workers’ College shall be the map of Africa, two workers (female & male), symbols depicting work and education/knowledge; the colours shall include green (the land/environment), red (revolution & struggle) and black (for the people of the continent).
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
3.1 The aims and objectives are to:
3.1.1 locate worker education in the broader context of popular education and working class struggles,
3.1.2 use education to raise the class consciousness of the participants who are from participating organisations,
3.1.3 develop popular education programmes and practises that sustain the participatory and critical learning processes of participants,
3.1.4 recognise and use the prior learning, and struggle experiences of participants,
3.1.5 develop research capacity within the College,
3.1.6 use worker education as a tool to develop worker leadership through providing intermediary and advanced political and ideological education,
3.1.7 assist with developing education capacity in constituent organisations,
3.1.8 develop a progressive and collaborative national, continental and global network of education initiatives and programmes with organisations that share our vision,
3.1.9 initiate and support transformation at existing public educational institutions, and critically engage in collaborative popular education programmes with such institutions.
4.1.1 Organisations that qualify to apply for membership are trade union federations, trade unions, and civic organisations that support the aims and objectives of the Workers’ College.
4.1.2 A participating organisation is one that has applied for Workers’ College membership to the Board, and such application has been approved.
4.1.3 The College Board shall determine the application procedure and requirements for membership in accordance with the aims & objectives of the Constitution of the Workers’ College.
4.1.4 When such application has been approved by the College Board, that organisation is then eligible to participate in the Council of the Workers’ College,
5.1.1 The College Council is constituted by the approved participating trade union federations, trade unions and civic organisations, as prescribed in Section 4 of this Constitution.
5.1.2 The representation at Council shall be as follows:
5.3.1 In the event the College Board failing to reach a quorum after three consecutive attempts, the Chairperson of the Board must convene a Special College Council meeting to elect a new College Board.
5.3.2 The College Board shall convene a Special Council Meeting within seven (7) days of being petitioned to do so by at least 50% + 1 of participating organisations. Such petition must clearly outline the constitutional basis for a Special Council Meeting.
5.3.3 Decisions of Special College Council meetings shall be taken in accordance with clause 5.2.8.
5.2.1 The College Council shall be convened once per annum, as determined by the College Board.
5.2.2 All meetings of the College Council shall be convened by the College Board.
5.2.3 The Secretary of the College Board, in consultation with the Chairperson of the College Board, must notify all participating organisations, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the College Council meeting, of the date, venue and time of such meeting.
5.2.4 The quorum for the College Council sitting shall be 50% +1 of all participating organisations that meet the requirements set out in Section 4.
5.2.5 If the meeting of the College Council fails to meet the quorum, the Secretary of the Board, in consultation with the Chairperson of the College Board, shall postpone the meeting and reconvene it not later than two months from the time of its postponement.
5.2.6 The Secretary of the College Board, in consultation with the Chairperson of the College Board, must notify all members of the next date and venue of the reconvened College Council meeting within fourteen (14) days of the its postponement.
5.2.7 The reconvened College Council meeting shall be deemed to be quorate, and will proceed even if it does not meet the requirement in sub-section 5.2.4.
5.2.8 The College Council meeting shall take decisions by means of consensus. Should the College Council not reach consensus on an issue then the matter shall be subjected to a vote and decided upon by a simple majority.
5.4.1 The College Council shall be the highest decision-making body of the Workers’ College.
5.4.2 The College Council shall elect the members of the College Board for a period of two (2) years in office from the date of adoption of this Constitution; at the end of the two (2) year period, the College Council shall elect the members of the College Board for a three (3) term in office, and elect such College Board for three (3) year terms thereafter;
5.4.3 The College Council shall develop policies for the smooth running and functioning of the College and the College Board.
5.4.4 The College Council shall deliberate and make recommendations on the Annual Report, Programme of Action and Financial Reports of the College Board.
5.4.5 The College Council has the powers to replace a member(s) of the Board or the whole College Board through the provisions of clauses 5.3.2 and 6.4.7 of this constitution.
6.1.1 The Chairperson of the College Board.
6.1.2 The Deputy-Chairperson of the College Board.
6.1.3 The Secretary, who is the Director of the College, and who serves in an ex-officio position on the College Board.
6.1.4 Three (3) representatives elected from trade union federations, and such elections based on proportional representation
6.1.5 Four (4) members elected from among representatives of trade unions.
6.1.6 Two (2) members elected from among the civic organisations.
6.2.1 Elections of the College Board shall be done only at the College Council, and on adoption of this Constitution; thereafter, the College Council shall elect the College Board after two years for a three (3) year term, and thereafter after every three (3) years;
6.2.2 Nomination for election onto the College Board shall be open to representatives of all participating organisations who sit on the College Council.
6.2.3 Qualification for election to the positions of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, one trade union federation representative and trade union representatives, individuals must be nominated by at least three trade unions or one of the trade union federations or one of the civic organisations, seconded by at least three trade unions or another trade union federation or civic organisation.
6.2.4 The procedure for electing members for the College Board shall be either through a show of hands or by secret ballot, as decided by the College Council at that meeting.
6.2.5 The elections shall be conducted by the Director, assisted by staff members of the College, or any individual or organisation identified by the College Board and approved by the College Council.
6.2.6 The election of the trade union federation and the civic organisation representatives to the College Board must be done at the elective College Council Meeting.
6.3.1 The College Board is the highest decision making body between the sittings of the College Council.
6.3.2 The Board shall oversee the management of the Workers’ College in line with the provisions of this Constitution.
6.3.3 The Board may set up sub-committees it deems necessary to carry out its tasks and its responsibilities. Such sub-committees shall be constituted by members of the College Board and individuals, with specific skills & knowledge, co-opted by the College Board onto such sub-committees.
6.3.4 The College Board shall have powers to open, and operate one or more banking accounts, depending on the need, in the name of Workers’ College. Such banking account(s) must have at least two signatories, with the Director being the main signatory and the Chairperson, or if not available, the Deputy Chairperson, as the other signatory.
6.3.5 The College Board, may acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise, any moveable or immovable property on behalf of the Workers’ College.
6.3.6 The College Board may sell, let, mortgage or dispose of, in the best interests of the College, any moveable or immoveable property of the Workers’ College.
6.3.7 The College Board shall appoint the Director of the Workers’ College and define the scope of his/her duties and responsibilities.
6.3.8 The College Board may create and approve the creation of posts, and engage or terminate the services of any of its employees.
6.3.9 The remuneration and benefits of the employees of the Workers’ College shall be determined by the College Board in accordance with the necessary provisions of the law.
6.3.10 The College Board shall have powers to institute or defend legal proceedings by or against the Workers’ College as a legal entity.
6.4.1 Meetings of the College Board shall be convened at least four (4) times a year (quarterly).
6.4.2 All the meetings of the College Board shall be convened by the Chairperson of the Board.
6.4.3 In the absence of the Chairperson of the College Board, meetings of the Board shall be convened by the Deputy Chairperson or any other member of the Board that has been appointed as the Acting Chairperson of the College Board.
6.4.4 The Secretary of the College Board must notify Board members of the scheduled Board meeting at least ten (10) days in advance, stipulating the venue, date and time.
6.4.5 The quorum for the meeting of the College Board shall be 50% + 1of the members of the College Board.
6.4.6 If the meeting of the College Board fails to meet the quorum, the Chairperson must postpone the meeting and reconvene it within fourteen (14) days.
6.4.7 If the College Board fails to reach a quorum after three consecutive attempts to hold a meeting, then the Chairperson of the College Board must convene a Special College Council meeting that will elect a new College Board.
6.4.8 Decisions of the College Board meeting shall be reached through consensus or a simple majority vote, if consensus cannot be reached.
6.5.1 The Chairperson shall:
a) in consultation with the other Office Bearers, convene and preside over meetings of the College Board and College Council
b) represent the College in all external official engagements when required.
c) be a co-signatory to the banking accounts, together with the Director and the Deputy Chairperson.
6.5.3 The Secretary shall:
a) present the reports of the activities and financial statements of the College to the Board.
b) assist the Chairperson to convene Board meetings and draft agenda for such meetings
c) keep all records and minutes of the Board.
6.5.2 The Deputy Chairperson shall:
a) assist the Chairperson in his/her duties, and perform the duties and the responsibilities of the Chair in his/her absence.
b) be a co-signatory to the banking accounts, in the absence of the
c) carry out any task or duty assigned to him/her by the Board
6.5.4 The rest of the members of the Board shall:
a) serve, if appointed, on the various sub-committees that the College Board may chose to constitute.
b) carry out any tasks or duties assigned to them by the College Board.
c) be deployed by the College Board, when required, to represent the College in external forums and meetings.
6.6.1 The membership of a Board member shall be deemed terminated after such member has submitted a resignation letter, and such letter has been accepted by the Board.
6.6.2 The membership a Board member who misses three consecutive meetings of the College Board shall be automatically terminated.
6.6.3 In the event of the College Board being recalled by the College Council, through a petition in terms of clauses 6.3.2 and 6.4.5, the Board shall cease to exist.
MANAGEMENT OF THE COLLEGE
7.1.1 The Director shall assume the overall day to day responsibility of running the programmes, activities and management of the College.
7.1.2 The Director may make recommendations to the College Board for the creation of posts or their termination. Such recommendations must be referred to be the Board for Approval.
7.1.3 The Director shall supervise and monitor the day to day performance of all the staff employed by the College Board.
7.1.4 The Director may recommend that the College Board that it take disciplinary action against or dismiss a member of staff who is found guilty of misconduct or failing to perform his/her duties.
7.1.5 The Director must submit a report about all the programmes and activities of the College to each meeting of the College Board.
7.1.6 The Director must assist the Board with the compilation of the Annual Report, Programme of Action and Financial Statements.
INCOME AND PROPERTY
8.1 Members or office bearers have no rights in the property or assets of the Workers’ College solely by virtue of their being members or office bearers.
8.2 The income and property of the Workers’ College shall be used solely for the promotion of its stated objectives and shall not be paid or distributed directly or indirectly to any person, members or office bearers, except as reasonable compensation for services rendered.
Financial Year End
9.1 The financial year end of the Workers’ College shall be the end of December of each year.
DISSOLUTION AND INSOLVENCY
10.1.1 In the event that the Workers’ College needs to declare itself insolvent or dissolve itself, for whatever legal or other valid reason, such decision shall be decided by two-thirds (2/3) of the representatives in a Special Council meeting.
10.1.2 In the event that the Special Council meeting votes in favour of dissolution or declaring insolvency, the meeting must than instruct the College Board on the steps to be taken in winding down the affairs of the Workers’ College, and the manner of disposing of its assets and liabilities.
10.1.3 Upon dissolution of the Workers’ College, any assets remaining after the College’s liabilities have been settled will be transferred to another non-profit organisation whose objectives are similar to those of the Workers’ College.
CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION AND AMENDMENTS
11.1.1 In the case of conflict or misunderstanding, arising from the interpretation of this Constitution or any matter arising in connection therewith, the College Board shall be the arbiter and its decision shall be binding, subject to review by only the College Council.
11.1.2 Only the College Council has the powers to amend or repeal this Constitution, and add and subtract provisions thereof.
11.1.3 Amendments to this Constitution shall be approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of representatives present in the College Council meeting.
11.1.4 Any proposals regarding changes to this Constitution must be forwarded to the College Board to put on the agenda of the next Council meeting and inform participating organisations at least fourteen (14) days before the College Council meeting of the proposed constitutional changes.
11.1.5 The College Council and the College Board may also initiate changes to this Constitution by setting up a process or processes that will allow members reasonable time to make inputs to the process(es)