MEC shocked at teachers' allowance cut

2013-01-25 12:19
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Johannesburg - Limpopo education MEC Dickson Masemola was shocked to learn about the termination of teachers' rural allowance, his spokesperson said on Friday.

"The MEC therefore commits himself to engage with the Minister [of Basic Education Angie Motshekga] in order to reinstate this incentive. He is extremely disappointed with this decision to terminate the incentive," his spokesperson Pat Kgomo said in a statement.

Kgomo said the MEC committed himself to speedily resolving the matter.

On Thursday, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said it was dismayed that the provincial education department had terminated teachers' rural allowance.

"As Sadtu, we view this action in a serious light and we feel it is a clear provocation of our members. We will not take this lying down," Sadtu provincial secretary Matome Raphasha said in a statement.

Not properly informed

He said teachers were not properly informed about the decision in a circular issued in December 2012. They were surprised to realise their salaries had been cut.

"These educators woke up on 22 January 2013 to find their salaries reduced. This decision flies in the face of the discussions that were already taking place at both the provincial and national Education Labour Relations Council," he said.

It was not "fair" to cut the salaries in the middle of the financial year. The money had been budgeted for a period of 12 months.

"They should have consulted and said in April 2013 we will terminate this allowance."

The rural allowance was meant to retain teachers working in deep rural areas, and in no fee and remote schools.

He said the cut of the incentive would discourage them from working in those areas.

"We wish to inform the department that targeting educators' allowances is a bad strategy that will be met with a concomitant action of monumental scale."

The union threatened to mobilise its members in the province to embark on a strike in the next two weeks. On Friday, national education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said he knew nothing about the matter and he referred queries to the provincial spokesperson.

The education department has been under administration since 5 December 2011.

 

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