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Teachers' pay protest

By unknown | Feb 28, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Learning will be severely disrupted at schools in Durban and Pietermaritzburg today as thousands of teachers, mostly members of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), march to the provincial education offices.

They will be protesting against the planned docking of their salaries for the 21 days they had participated in the public servants strike last year.

The teachers are unhappy about the department's decision to dock their salaries from March until June this year.

Sadtu's Lucky Cele said yesterday they were mobilising members in and around Durban and Pietermaritzburg to voice their grievances to MEC of education Ina Cronje.

"The situation is very tense. Teachers are angry and threatening a stayaway should the department continue with its decision to dock salaries," said Cele.

Since Monday, teachers from Umlazi, Umbumbulu and Pinetown districts have held protest marches at the district offices and at the department's Truro House on the Esplanade.

Eleven teachers were arrested after they stormed the Umlazi education district offices to demand answers from officials.

They were charged with public violence and causing damage to property. They were released on bail and will appear in court again next month.

Sadtu provincial secretary Sipho Nkosi said: "Sadtu predicted that this would happen and we warned the department, and even asked them to do away with the 'no work, no pay' deductions.

"We told them not to continue unless they (deductions) were done simultaneously with the payment of teachers for their contribution in the recovery plan."

By late yesterday other unions had not confirmed if they would be joining the march.

But the National Allied Professional Teachers of South Africa (Naptosa) said it would not be part of the march.

"It would be illegal for us to join the march although we sympathise with them and are also affected by the docking of salaries," said Naptosa provincial spokesman Anthony Pierce.

"We believe that for such an action we need to have obtained permission from various structures. The department has not yet issued and distributed to schools a circular stating that salaries will be docked.

"Most teachers heard about it in the media, and you cannot expect to communicate with thousands of employees through the media."

The department, however, says it will definitely dock the salaries.


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