“Pay Grade R teachers” – union

By Drum Digital
29 March 2016

The National Teachers' Union (Natu) is demanding a minimum salary of R10 000 for Grade R educators across the country.

By Ayanda Sitole

The union has threatened to take on the Department of Basic Education, saying 2016 is “a year of taking action.”

According to NATU, Grade R teachers are currently receiving a monthly stipend of R6 000 out of R24 million budget that has been allocated to these teachers by government.

In addition, 5 900 educators in KwaZulu Natal are still owed six months back pay by the provincial education department.

"We feel the R24 million allocated for payments of their stipend is not adequate. They should be paid R10 000 a month because the current R 6 000 stipend is way too little," says Allen Thompson, Natu's Deputy President and Spokesperson.

"The Department of Education and the ruling party have done research which points out that learners who started schooling in Grade R have better chances of succeeding. So why are these teachers not recognised according to what they are paid by the respective provincial education departments?” he asks. “When is department going to develop a policy which seeks to equalise what they are paid with other teachers in the system?"

He said these teachers should enjoy benefits like medical aids, housing allowances and pensions.

"They must be able to get maternity, paternity and family responsibility leave like other educators. If we really serious about turning around our education, foundation is the most important aspect in that regard,” he adds.

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