Salary talks for teachers

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

The South African Democratic Teachers Union wants to conclude salary negotiations before next year's elections, general secretary Thulas Nxesi told teachers.

The meeting at the Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto yesterday was aimed at giving Sadtu members feedback on the union's issues and on the newly-formed party by Mbhazima Shilowa and Mosiuoa Lekota.

Nxesi said: "We would like to get a mandate from our members soon. We would like to start salary negotiations at the beginning of 2009 and they should be concluded by the end of March. All this must be done before the elections."

Nxesi said that the union had already started expanding its membership.

"We do not want the union to only be a teacher union. We want it to include academic and non-academic staff in schools. They would be more protected if they are affiliated to Sadtu."

About the formation of the Shikota party, he said: "We understand that our members might be confused because Willie Madisha was once part of our party."

Madisha was the president of Sadtu and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) before he resigned this year.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said: "It is crucial to talk to teachers about the current debacle because he [Madisha] might want to use the union's members for his agenda."