Teachers to decide on state's pay offer

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The National Teachers Union (Natu) will take a final decision next week on whether to accept or reject the 10,5 percent wage increase offer by the government.

The decision will be among other crucial issues to be discussed at Natu's conference at Empangeni next week to coincide with the union's 90th anniversary celebration.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has already rejected the proposed public service yearly increase of 10,5 percent and called for the resignation of Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

Sadtu said the wage increase announcement was made in the legislature with no prior reference to the Public Services Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).

It said the projected rate of CPIX - 9,5 percent over the next year - underestimated the rate of inflation.

Natu spokesman Allan Thompson said the union was to seek expert economic advice before making their final decision.

He said they wanted to ensure their decision was an informed one not taken irrationally and out of desperation.

"The cost of living today is very high. We have reports that many teachers have had their vehicles repossessed and some have approached their unions for loans to pay off their debts," said Thompson.

Thompson said they were planning to mobilise other trade unions to be part of whatever decision they would take.

Among other matters to be discussed is the issue of the large number of unqualified teachers that are left out despite their experience.

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