Cosatu threatens to join teachers

2013-04-24 16:47
Pupils take part in a national strike organised by Sadtu. (Jerusha Sukhdeo, News24)

Pupils take part in a national strike organised by Sadtu. (Jerusha Sukhdeo, News24)

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Western Cape Sadtu strike

2013-04-24 15:22

Thousands of teachers took to the streets on Wednesday, marching for better working conditions. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - If calls by protesting SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) members are not heeded, Cosatu members will join them on the streets, its Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich vowed on Wednesday.

"If the government does not listen to the voices of the teachers today, we want to assure them that all of the members in [the Congress of SA Trade Unions] Cosatu, all the 260 000 members in the Western Cape, will come and join you to make sure that we fix the problems in education," he said.

Ehrenreich was addressing close to 2 000 protesters from the back of a truck at the main gates of the parliamentary complex in Cape Town.

Cosatu supported them and their union "without reservation", he said.

Sadtu has prepared a memorandum containing a series of demands, which it plans to deliver to the government.

Ehrenreich said if there was no response to this, "the next time you are on the streets, all of Cosatu will be with you".

He also called for a more equitable distribution of resources among Western Cape schools.

"Teaching resources in schools and facilities on the Cape Flats are half those of the schools in the shadow of Table Mountain," he said.

"The township schools have double the amount of pupils as the fancy schools, and the teachers there must do double the amount of work as those at schools in the shadow of Table Mountain."

Warning to MEC

Ehrenreich also warned Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant over attempts to close schools in the province.

"To Donald Grant, we say... if he dares continue with the closure of schools, we will come to [the provincial legislature building in] Wale Street and we will take him out of those offices, because an attack on our children is an attack on all of us."

Sadtu is calling for, among other things, the resignations of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

The memorandum also calls for better school facilities, smaller class sizes, and improved safety at schools.

In the document, Sadtu gives the government 21 days to respond to its demands.

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- SAPA

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cosatu  |  donald grant  |  tony ehrenreich  |  angie motshekga  |  bobby soobrayan  |  cape town  |  education  |  protests
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