Threat to Grade 12 exams

MATRIC examinations in Gauteng are under threat after teachers affiliated to Sadtu threatened to go on strike on November 3.

The teachers are demanding that the Department of Education reverse deductions made on their October salaries for participating in a national strike in 2007.

Sadtu members met at the Orlando East Communal Hall in Soweto yesterday, where they threatened to embark on a series of demonstrations starting on Monday and culminating in a full-blown strike on November 3 if their demands were not met.

The disgruntled teachers said they would knock off at schools at 1pm from Monday and demonstrate outside the department's offices on Wednesday and Thursday.

"Whether (MEC) Barbara (Creecy) likes it or not, we will embark on strike action and we will be the last man standing," Sadtu provincial chairperson Moss Senye said.

Provincial secretary Ronald Nyathi said the timing of the deductions was inappropriate because it coincided with the start of matric exams and the festive season.

The union demanded that Creecy resign and accused her of "digging deep into the pockets of teachers and taking our last cents".

Creecy criticised the union for holding the meeting during school hours, saying it was cutting into crucial "contact time" for exam preparation.

The department, however, invited all teachers whose salaries had been deducted to come and produce proof that they were actually at work and not on strike during the period in question.

Teachers can also make representation to ask the department to stager the deduction.

The MEC's office did not comment on what action would be taken if the strike went on.