Sadtu firm in rejecting pay offer

2010-10-12 00:00

THE working relationship between teachers’ unions and the government, which took years to build, will be destroyed if the Public Service and Administration Department imposes its salary package, despite its rejection by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).

This is the view of KwaZulu-Natal deputy provincial secretary of Sadtu, Siyabonga Mdletshe, following the rejection of the government’s wage offer of a 7,5% wage increase and R800 housing subsidy for all government employees by his union during its congress in Gauteng last week.

Sadtu is the country’s biggest teacher trade union with a claimed membership of 250 000.

Unions have until midnight tomorrow to sign the wage agreement after the government declared it its final offer after a crippling strike by public servants last month.

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said the government will implement the offer even if it is rejected by unions.

Last week, the Public Servants’ Association (PSA) was the first civil service union to reject the offer.

However, after rejecting the government’s offer, Sadtu emphasised that teachers are not going to go back on strike.

“As Sadtu we are not going to be party to any signing of the wage agreement. If the government does things unilaterally by imposing its offer on our members as it threatened to do, that will destroy the relationship we took many years to build with the employer.

“This will mean we would have to reconfigure the way we deal with the government.

“It will be like a declaration of war from the state, and Sadtu members are determined to decide what would be our programme of action in response to that,” Mdletshe said.

Commenting on the coming exams, Mdletshe said Sadtu has come up with a programme to help pupils revise the work in preparation for the finals.

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