State clinches pay deal with KZN teachers

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Teachers in KwaZulu-Natal will be paid for working during the holidays to help pupils catch up for the time lost during the public sector strike.

The early back-to-school teaching programme, which is part of the province's education recovery plan, will cost the government about R100million to pay the 79000 teachers' salaries.

The first phase of the programme starts on Monday. The pupils are also expected to attend on Saturdays.

The second phase will begin during the September school holidays.

South African Teachers Union (Sadtu) spokesman Sipho Nkosi said: "This means teachers in the province would be able recover the monies they lost due to the strike."

Sadtu, The National Teachers Union (Natu) and the National Professional Teachers Organisation (Naptosa) in the province had earlier rejected taking part in the recovery plan.

But the unions did an about-turn when the provincial Department of Education agreed to pay for the extra work.

National Education Department spokesman Lunga Nqengelele said the decision taken between the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and teachers' unions in the province would not apply in other provinces.

He said the departments in other provinces are expected to develop their own recovery plans to suit their needs.

Nqengelele said that teachers are always paid to help pupils catch up time lost during the strikes.

Spokesman for Natu, Allen Thomas, said other provinces have not made decisions on what they are going to do.

l Meanwhile, Gauteng is said to have developed recovery plans, but they only focused on the area's badly performing schools.