Non-working teachers shocked by non-payment

2016-02-16 11:14

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Pietermaritzburg - Some KZN teachers were up in arms on Monday after the provincial Department of Education froze their salaries apparently for not showing up for work over a period.

The department of education said it has embarked on a curative initiative against teachers who have been bunking work.

“These are teachers who have not been to work for a long time,” said department spokesperson Muzi Mahlangu. “They ignored us. We wrote to them saying that we would not pay them electronically this month but would generate manual cheques for them to pick up.

“Their cheques are available for them to fetch and present a good story as to where they have been and why the department should not take disciplinary action against them.

“It’s been okay for them to ignore us, but come month-end they would simply go to the ATM and continue with their lives,” said Mahlangu.

He refuted claims that the department is targeting teachers who have been operating with forged qualifications. “Going to the media will not help them, they know where they should go.

“We have had many head counts and everyone was supposed to present themselves. We have, on numerous occasions, communicated to them that if they did not present themselves it would have serious consequences for them,” he said.

“They need also to present copies of their certificates and identity books,” said Mahlangu.

However, some of these teachers are threatening to resort to a “no pay, no work” policy until their salaries are fully paid. The teachers claim the department withheld their salaries pending verification of their qualifications, and said this was the department’s strategy to nail teachers who operate with forged qualifications.

A teacher, who opted to remain unnamed said she was caught in the middle between the department and non-co-operating teachers.

“The department said they issued memos to our principals last year but I never received such information from them. I will stay home until my salary has been paid into my account. Later they will complain about being behind in the curriculum schedule and poor results but forget that they delayed us,” said the teacher.

Regional Sadtu secretary Willy Naidoo said they were planning to raise a complaint with the department soon.

Naidoo said those teachers who opt to stay away will do so without Sadtu’s blessings.

“We don’t support that teachers should stay home but the law says that whoever provides a service should be paid for it,” he said.

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  teachers

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