teachers may strike over pay

THE National Teachers Union has warned that the slow process of finalising the occupation specific dispensation is frustrating teachers and pushing them out of the classroom.

THE National Teachers Union has warned that the slow process of finalising the occupation specific dispensation is frustrating teachers and pushing them out of the classroom.

The union fears that this "slow process" will galvanise teachers to embark on strike action.

Teacher unions have also expressed concern about the unresolved OSD issue.

Yesterday Natu deputy president Allen Thompson said his organisation was consulting its members about a way forward after the Department of Education "deliberately caused delays".

Thompson said the delays had led to the government being unable to implement promised annual salary hikes to government employees.

The teacher unions are standing firm on their demand for a 15percent salary increase.

"The department has to finalise the OSD negotiations before the general salary increment for all government servants can be implemented," he said.

Thompson said they were planning to stage a protest outside the Durban International Convention Centre on August 7 when President Jacob Zuma will be meeting with the principals of schools in the province.

"These delays are now contradicting Zuma's promise of prioritising education and paying teachers what they deserve," Thompson said.

"Now the same department the president promised to prioritise is causing the delays".

He said teachers were de-motivated and fed up with the delays to 29 days after teachers were promised their annual increment.

The OSD for public servants was supposed to have been implemented on June 30.

All stakeholders had allegedly agreed on implementation and time frames.

The OSD deal was struck after a strike in 2007 brought the country's public service, including the health system, to a standstill.

The deal stipulated that skilled public servants, such as doctors, nurses, prosecutors and teachers, would receive salary increases of up to 50percent in a bid to bring them in line with the private sector.

Meanwhile, the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) has also raised concerns over the OSD policy and delays in implementing it.

Naptosa wants the department of eduction to clarify the draft guidelines relating to procedures regarding the filling of teaching and learning specialist positions.

They want clarity on the instrument that will be used to moderate the performance of teachers, performance standards and an integrated quality management system.

At the time of going to press, the national Education Department had not yet responded.

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