MEC, Sadtu in talks as strike disrupts matric trial exams

2013-09-02 10:50

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Senzo Mchunu is locked in talks with teacher union Sadtu in a bid to halt crippling industrial action by its 60?000 members in the province which has already disrupted the first day of the crucial matric trial examinations.

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed reports of widespread disruptions around the province, saying the department was “monitoring the situation’’ as the industrial action – sparked by unpaid strike pay, unfilled posts and the department’s failure to implement grade adjustments since 2009 – spread.

Mahlambi said Mchunu was “meeting Sadtu as we speak’’ and would later meet his top management team – themselves the target of a Sadtu demand that they be suspended for alleged maladministration.

On Friday Sadtu announced its intention to go on an indefinite “work to rule” – doing no more than the minimum required – and disrupt examinations in a bid to force Mchunu to dump his head of department, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi.

The unions said its members would only work from 7.30am to 2pm and would also hold demonstrations.

City Press was able to independently confirm disruptions in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo earlier today.

“Can you believe it – my niece in matric went to write her first preliminary this morning and Sadtu decided they are striking unannounced. They made the principal take all the papers back. I don’t get these guys,’’ said one Ixopo resident.

Sadtu want backpay from 2009 which was deducted illegally when they went on strike; upgrades for security and administrative staff; the filling of 800 posts which have remained vacant for four years and an overhaul of top management, who they blame for the “collapse’’ of the department.

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