Blunder in education dept wage deal

By Drum Digital
14 August 2013

The basic education department only realised seven months after signing a collective agreement with teacher unions that the agreed pay would leave them more than R700 million over budget, The Star reported on Wednesday.

The department's chief director for human resources management Simone Geyer told the Labour Court on Tuesday that the department had severe capacity constraints when the deal was signed.

The department's director general Bobby Soobrayan -- who was briefed by Geyer -- signed the agreement on April 7, 2011 after the negotiations.

Geyer was the department's chief negotiator but went on leave before it was finalised, the newspaper reported.

The agreement related to salary adjustments for matric exam markers.

Geyer reportedly told the court that she did not have time to read through the five-page agreement and relied on another colleague to brief her, because the department was attending to issues in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

The court heard the department called a meeting in November that year to address the "obscene" figures captured in the agreement, the newspaper reported.

Geyer received a final written warning and faced disciplinary action over the blunder, the newspaper reported.

-Sapa

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