Sadtu threaten to leave matric papers unmarked

2012-11-28 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has threatened to leave matric examination papers unmarked if their demands were not met.

The union marched in the streets of Pietermaritzburg early this month demanding among other things, that all temporary Grade R teachers be employed permanently.

A salary increase from R4000 to R6000 a month plus 37% in lieu of benefits for the union members was another demand.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Sadtu provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said the department offered these teachers a seven percent increase across the board instead, which they rejected.

He said the offer undermined their colleagues considering that they provide an essential service of promoting early childhood development.

“The department waited for Grade 12s to finish with their exams to tell us the news. But if they don’t give us a better offer we’ll not mark the papers and we’ll not release the pupils’ results,” he said.

Exam marking is due to start on Saturday, December 1.

The union said the department has called another special meeting on Friday to discuss the new offer.

But Mathonsi said they will not step in any negotiating room if there is no satisfying offer. “The department must respond to the entire memorandum including the issues of Adult Basic Education and Training [Abet] educators, non-teaching staff and unprotected teachers …” he added.

Abet teachers earn per hour.

Other demands made by the union include security at schools; Grade 12 pupils who fail examinations to be allowed to repeat the grade; filling of vacant posts; accommodation for rural-based workers and more lecturers to be employed at Further Education and Training colleges.

Provincial education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the only alternative towards a solution was to have both parties back to the negotiating table.

“… We’re not surprised that after the consultations in the name of democracy [Sadtu] members rejected the offer,” Mahlambi added.

However, he said they are hoping the department will be able to pursue them back to the drawing board.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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