Mpumalanga teachers will not be compensated for working overtime to make up for the time lost during the month-long public servants' strike.
The provincial education department said yesterday that no payment would be made to teachers working overtime.
Department spokesman Hlahla Ngwenya said there was "no way" the teachers could be paid for overtime because their salaries included payment for weekend and holidays.
"When they put extra effort into teaching the children there is no need for extra payment.
"Many teachers have been, for years, working on Saturdays, afternoon and when schools were closed but were not paid," Ngwenya said.
Ngwenya said it was unfair of the teachers to capitalise on the catch-up programme that came as a result of the strike.
"It is unfair of them [teachers] to demand a stipend for the catch-up programme.
"Why not pay those who had been doing extra work long before the strike," he said.
Ngwenya's utterances did not go down well with the South African Democratic Teachers (Sadtu).
The union's provincial secretary Shamba Mthembu said the department must pay the teachers for overtime.
"Other department employees are paid for overtime and teachers in other provinces are paid for the catch-up programme," he said.
Mthembu said teachers were crippled by the "no work, no pay" policy that applied during the strike last month.
"We need the stipend to sustain us to go to work on weekends and holidays," he said.
The union and the department were expected to meet yesterday evening to discuss how to resolve the impasse over possible compensation.