No pay for many temporary teachers since January

2009-03-23 00:00

TEMPORARY teachers in the province have not been paid this year and the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has criticised the Education Department’s omission as “criminal”.

Sadtu spokesman Sipho (KK) Nkosi said he was first notified of the problem last week.

He contacted Education superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi, who promised to have the matter addressed.

However, Nkosi claims to have received numerous calls after this from affected teachers.

“We are quite embarrassed that people have not been paid since January while the fat cats pay themselves on a monthly basis. How are you expected to go three months without pay and survive?”

Nkosi said this is not only demoralising for teachers, but will also have a negative impact on newly qualified teachers who have spent four years at university and are being introduced to a “rotten system”.

He said the department terminated contracts of temporary teachers occupying vacant posts in December, contrary to a decision taken during negotiations between the department and unions at provincial level.

He said the decision not to terminate the contracts was later confirmed in a circular released to district offices. The union is calling for the reinstatement of the teachers.

The Christian Democratic Alliance spokesman for Education, Colin Fibiger, said the problem is a result of incompetence and poor planning by the department.

He said it is not limited to KZN, but the province has the most temporary teachers.

Fibiger said figures for July last year showed that 31 940 teachers were not paid. Of these, almost 11 000 were in KZN.

The Witness understands that these teachers have been threatened with reprisals if they speak to the media.

Said Nkosi, “We are requesting for those not paid to submit their particulars and the period of time they have not received their payments so that we can organise a sit-in with the department of Education.”

KwaZulu-Natal Education spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said only some temporary teachers have not been paid.

She attributed this to the late receipt of submissions for payment, teachers submitting incomplete information, and the fact that the department’s system was down.

Thusi said payments should be expected at month-end.

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