Preschool teachers not paid by Limpopo government

2012-07-25 09:17

About 1 500 preschool teachers teaching pupils in Grade R in Limpopo have not been paid their salaries since February, their union has said.

The National Democratic Change and Allied Workers Union (NDCAWU) said the preschool teachers – who play a critical role in ensuring pupils are sufficiently equipped and prepared for primary school – are now considering legal action to force the provincial department of education to pay up.

About 200 of them marched last week to the department’s head offices in Polokwane and submitted a memorandum demanding:

» Payment of the monthly stipend of R3 000

» Permanent positions for all its preschool teachers teaching grade R; and

» Pay increases.

Solly Malema, a NDCAWU official, said the union also wants the department to give them pay increases.

“In other provinces practitioners are paid about R5 000 every month but the department pays R3 000 around here. We want an explanation about these differences as we are all working for the same government”.

Malema said the department was failing to comply with an agreement the two parties signed, stating that it would pay the monthly stipends without any delays.

“The department is failing to comply as the last payment was in February. We were not paid in March, April, May and June.

“There are roughly about 1 500 (early childhood development) practitioners in the province and they are suffering as a result of the department’s failure to pay.

“How does the department expect the poor practitioners to survive?”

If the department doesn’t pay up by Friday, Malema said the union would file an urgent application to the Pretoria High Court to demand immediate backdated salaries.

“We will also stage a sit-in at the department’s offices and refuse to leave until we are paid,” he said.
According to Malema there are more than 10 000 preschool teachers across the country, providing basic care for children between one and nine years old under the auspices of the South African Congress of Early Childhood Development.

The department’s spokesman Pat Kgomo could not be reached for comment.

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