KZN teachers in pay dispute

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The National Teachers Union (Natu) in KwaZulu-Natal is furious over the provincial department of education's threat to dock the salaries of teachers who went on strike earlier this year.

This is despite the union members having submitted affidavits that they were not part of the strike.

Last month, about 46000 teachers submitted affidavits after a call from the department to do so.

However, at a meeting with teacher unions on Monday, the department announced it would start docking salaries as from November 15.

Natu deputy president Allan Thompson said they were disturbed to hear that money would be deducted, despite their members having submitted affidavits. He said the authorities had told them they "were under extreme pressure from the national treasury" to start deducting the money.

"They said they would deduct money for 21 days across the board, but we wonder how on earth they can do that as our members made sworn statements that they did not take part in the strike. This is daylight robbery," he said.

Thompson said the department said it would only consider the affidavits after deducting the money.

"Most teachers will fail to honour their financial obligations because of this. We are against the deductions," he said.

Thompson said Natu would ask its members to decide what to do next, but warned they might take the department to court.

Provincial Sadtu spokesman Sipho Nkosi said they would hold a press conference today to clarify their stance.

The department was not available for comment by late yesterday.