anger over salaries

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Teachers in KwaZulu-Natal are gatvol with the department of education for allegedly going against the agreement it entered into with the unions after the public servants' strike last year.

The department and the union had signed an agreement that the docking of teachers' salaries would be done simultaneously with the payment for participating in the recovery plan that was aimed at catching up on the learning time lost during the strike.

The anger follows the department's announcement that teachers' salaries would be docked next month.

Mjozi Motha of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said the department decided to undermine the stipulations of the agreement.

"The agreement was that the process of deductions and payments for the recovery plan would be done simultaneously," he said.

Yesterday more than 500 teachers marched to the district offices in Umlazi, south of Durban.

The teachers demanded answers after the provincial department announced that deductions would be made next month for "no work, no pay".

The teachers came from Durban, Umlazi, Umbumbulu, Chatsworth and Pinetown.

Learning was not severely disrupted because not all the teachers were part of the march.

"At this stage it's only delegates and shop stewards from different unions who participated in the march," said one of the teachers.

The teachers vowed that they would go back to the district office today to demand answers.

Motha said every one was aware of the fact that salaries would be deducted for going on strike.

"But when we ended the strike we agreed on the recovery plan, knowing that in that way teachers would re-gain the money that would be deducted for going on strike," he said.

Motha said the department must fix the chaos it has created by paying teachers for the recovery plan and then make the deductions later.

"We have met with the education MEC Ina Cronje on this issue and she has not come up with clear answers."

Education spokesman Ntokozo Maphisa said they had discussions with unions about the docking of salaries and the department will proceed with the deductions from next month.

He said the department was writing to teachers informing them of the outcome of assessments about affidavits on their non-participation in the strike.