Major victory for striking teachers
Johannesburg - The Labour Court has instructed the Kwazulu Natal department of education to reimburse 38 000 teachers whose salaries were docked because they apparently went on strike, The Star newspaper reported on Saturday.
The teachers, part of the National Teachers' Union (Natu), would not only get their pay reimbursed but receive an additional tax-free amount of 15.5% interest.
Natu said it was overjoyed at the court's decision, which would force the department to pay out a total of up to R18m, within two weeks.
"We are feeling vindicated and happy about today’s decision. It shows that the court is a court of law and that South Africa has a fair justice system. Next is Mpumalanga and Free State,” said union spokesperson Allen Thompson.
Education departments around the country implemented a 'no work, no pay' deduction to all teachers who they believed had taken part in last year's teacher strike.
The first deduction took place in February.
The move caused an uproar, with many teachers saying they had never taken part in the strike.
National education department spokesperson Granville Whittle said that teachers had been presented with many opportunities to prove they did not take place in strikes, however relevant documentation could still be submitted.
Deductions in other provinces were expected to continue until April.