Docking of teachers’ salaries reversed

2010-12-03 00:00

TEACHER salaries docked in November as a result of the August strike action have been reversed.

While KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Senzo Mchunu has cited an error on the part of national treasury for the reversals, teacher unions hold a different view.

The acting superintendent-general Simon Mbokazi sent a circular on November 2 informing all departmental employees in the province that the policy of “no work no pay” would be implemented starting in November.

In the letter, Mbokazi said the process would be staggered in three instalments.

The first deduction of seven days was to be effected on November 15. Dockings are to be suspended in December and January to accommodate the festive season so that teachers with children are not financially strained when schools reopen.

Mchunu said the process of deducting salaries had to be abandoned because of reasons beyond their control.

However, he said the deduction for November will be imposed again in February.

Anthony Pierce, spokesperson for the National Association of Professional Teachers of SA, said the information received by the union is that records submitted for docking were rejected by Treasury as some information could not be captured into the system due to incorrect spellings and wrong Persal numbers.

A letter addressed to Mbokazi from the Office of the Premier states that many records of public servants in the province could not be updated.

According Pierce, the Education Department of accounted for 46 000 of these numbers.

He claims only 22 000 were refunded their money and that it is not clear what has happened to the other 24 000.

“The gripe is caused by the fact some people were refunded partially or not at all. As a union, Naptosa went on strike for only four days, yet some of our members were docked beyond that.”

National Teachers’ Union (Natu) spokesperson Allen Thompson said that while members had been working, the department nevertheless conducted blanket dockings for 21 days across the board.

A well placed member of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union said some officials within the department are alleged to have met in places like MacDonald’s to sign their registers, while other teachers, who claimed to be working, signed in police stations and then went home.

A query on this was placed with the department on Monday, but no response has been received.

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