An analysis of Clerics’ awareness of their “employment” status with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
Ntshangase, Nhlanhla Blessing.
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The clerics of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) do not have an employment relationship with the Church. This is mainly because when they engage with one another, they never sign an employment contract, nor is there ever an intention to do so. This lack of employment relationship between ACSA and its clerics makes the clerics to not have access to earthly institutions like the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the Labour Court in an event that they have a dispute with ACSA. Disputes are supposed to be resolved using the internal processes as prescribed by ACSA’’s Constitution and Canons. Those clerics who have taken ACSA to CCMA or Labour Court have discovered that these institutions are not available to them. Courts have ruled several times that clerics are not employees of ACSA, and for this reason, access to the CCMA and the Labour Court is not available to them. This research study sought to establish if clerics are aware of their “not employed” status with ACSA, the implications of this and whether they are aware of internal remedies available to them if there is a conflict. The study further sought to establish if ACSA is doing anything to make clerics aware of their “not employed” status. A pretested questionnaire was designed and was used to collect data from clerics. These questionnaires were sent to 120 respondents, that is, 50 from the Diocese of Zululand and 70 from the Diocese of Natal. All data from the 53 questionnaires that were returned by the respondents were captured into a database using Microsoft Excel version 2010. This was analysed using the STATA IC version 13 statistical software. Data was presented using different types of graphs and tables. The findings were tested using the Pearson Chi-square test to determine the statistical significance of differences between the variables. The findings showed that the majority of clerics are not aware of their “not employed” status with ACSA. It was also found that the majority does not know the implications of this “not employed” status and they are not aware of the internal remedies that are prescribed by the Canons to resolve conflicts. The study recommends that ACSA should embark on a vigorous awareness campaigns to make clerics aware of their “not employed” status, a very important component of ACSA’s engagement with them.