System slip affects pay for teachers

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Teachers in KwaZulu-Natal will not have their backdated Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) payments included in their salaries today.

This is because of a technical error in the department of education's pay system.

KwaZulu-Natal teachers are getting paid today, while teachers in other provinces get paid on the 25th day of the month.

Two weeks ago the national Department of Education assured 385000 teachers that the backdated OSD payments would be included in their May salaries.

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary KK Nkosi said they were informed that there was a technical error in the pay system. This would cause a delay in the payment of the OSD.

Nkosi said teachers had received the news as "a blessing in disguise" because "non-payment" would not affect their salaries negatively.

He said the separate payment was what teachers had initially proposed to the department. This would apparently help them minimise heavy tax deductions.

Teachers had earlier expressed concern that their tax deductions would impact negatively on them if the OSD payment was not made separately from their salaries.

The implementation of the OSD was supposed to be done in January but was delayed as negotiations between teacher unions and the department had deadlocked.

National Education Department spokesman Lunga Nqengelele said the blame should not be put on the department.

He said the department was ready to implement salary adjustments in January but the unions were not happy about some of the amendments contained in the agreement.