Docking to continue

2008-03-26 00:00

Threats to “physically remove” KZN Education Department senior officials from office will not prevent the docking of employees’ pay.

Education superintendent-general Dr Cassius Lubisi announced that salary docking will go ahead as planned.

Lubisi said KZN is lagging behind in docking salaries for employees who were part of last year’s public service strike.

“The salary deductions will resume this month (March 2008) and will continue until all the monies have been recovered. The province is not inventing the deduction of salaries … This was a national directive ,” said Lubisi.

SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) chairman Chris Ndlela earlier said the department rejected most of the affidavits sent by teachers affirming that they did not strike.

“Teachers sent in some 50 000 affidavits to the department stating why they should not be docked, but the department accepted only 340 and declared that all the rest were not authentic.”

Lubisi said the submission of “conflicting affidavits by some employees” caused complications in application of the “no work, no pay” rule. He conceded there is a possibility of mistakes in the handling of affidavits.

“When taking on a task of this magnitude you cannot rule out any margin for error. That is why we are calling on employees to work with us,” said Lubisi.

According to Lubisi, the department called for affidavits to avoid a situation where salaries are deducted unfairly, but some employees have abused this opportunity.

“The department will be investigating all cases where employees submitted more than one affidavit. We are currently re-assessing these affidavits and legal advice is being sought on the matter. Internal disciplinary steps will be taken against those found to have submitted falsified affidavits as this may amount to perjury.”

He said the department wants to hear from employees who were forced to stay away from duty, and assured employees who submit affidavits that they will get responses.

“This [no work, no pay rule] applies to all employees of the department who did not report for duty during the strike. The impression that this only applies to educators is wrong. The principle of equality before the law applies.”

Deductions will soon commence for the more than 10 000 employees in the department who participated in the strike. Lubisi said deductions could not be effected this month for the rest of the employees due to the huge volume of administrative work that goes into implementing the deductions.

Yesterday Sadtu members threatened to engage in mass action, which would include invasion and disruption of services and “physically remove” departmental senior officials including the MEC.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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