Dept tries to stop teachers from striking
Johannesburg - The national education department is seeking to avert a strike by Eastern Cape teachers later this week, spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said on Wednesday.
"We have been in discussions ever since we learned about that strike. We are hopeful that we can avert the strike."
The SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) in the Eastern Cape, which claims a membership of 53 000, is planning to march to the premier's office in Bhisho on Friday.
It intended handing over a list of demands it felt were being ignored, provincial Sadtu secretary Mncekeleli Ndongeni said.
He said there would be no disruptions of matric exams as invigilators had been told to carry on with their work.
"We have told those invigilating exams to stay at their posts and those who are not invigilating that they must join the march."
The union's demands included reinstatement of all temporary teachers who were dismissed at the beginning of the year, to full-time positions.
It wanted payment of outstanding salaries, and the lifting of the suspension of members found to have breached departmental policy in the way they held union meetings.
The teachers wanted the Eastern Cape education department's head to be suspended, pending an investigation into the department's affairs.
In March, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said there were problems in putting education policy into effect in the province, and that national government intervention was needed.
Ndongeni said Sadtu had tried in vain since August to communicate issues to the education department in the Eastern Cape. Its correspondence was not acknowledged.
The matter should be settled before next year, he said.
Comment could not be immediately obtained from the premier and provincial education department.