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Teachers prepare to go on strike

By Tebogo Monama | Jul 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

TEACHERS in Soweto are  preparing to go on strike. They held a mass meeting on Friday to discuss the strike after salary negotiations with the government failed to produce a settlement last week.

Unions affiliated to the  Federation of Unions of  South  Africa and  Cosatu met Ministers of Basic Education  Angie Motshekga, of Social  Development  Edna Molewa   and of Public  Service and  Administration  Richard Baloyi   last Wednesday in  a bid to avert a  public sector strike.

But the Independent  Labour Caucus  said the  government had  “wasted everyone’s time”.

The unions declared a dispute  after the state remained   unshaken on its 6,5 percent  salary hike offer and a  housing  allowance  from R500 to R620 a month.

The unions want an 8,6 percent salary increase, a  R1000 monthly housing allowance  and the equalisation  of  medical aid subsidies.

The unions  claimed that the  government was   “discriminating” against non-members of the   Government  Employees  Medical Scheme.

A dispute was  declared last  month when the  conciliator  issued the  unions with a certificate to strike.

Sadtu Soweto  regional secretary Ronald Nyathi said:  “At the  mass meeting teachers unanimously rejected  the offer. They  think this is the worst insult of  the 21st  century.

“During the World Cup they  told us to behave because  people  from Europe were here. We  thought when  schools re- opened, they would give us a  better offer.

 “Why is it that people who  work for government  parastatals always receive bigger  increases than we  do? We  are public servants and not  volunteers.”


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