Teachers picket over unpaid salaries

2018-05-16 06:02
Members of Natu outside KwaZulu-Natal Legislature last Thursday.PHOTO: Bengs nkosi

Members of Natu outside KwaZulu-Natal Legislature last Thursday.PHOTO: Bengs nkosi

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WHILE the Minister of Education in KwaZulu-Natal Mthandeni Dlungwane was delivering his budget speech for 2018/19 at the provincial legislature last Thursday, Grade R teachers were picketing outside over unpaid salaries.

Teachers under the unions National Teacher’s Union (Natu) and South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) said that they have not been paid for the month of April and they have not received their salary increment for 2017.

They [teachers] said that the department was supposed to increase their salary by R1 250 in April last year but that never happened.

Natu Vice president Nkululeko Ngcobo told Echo that Grade R teachers usually get paid at the month end.

“When staff did not receive their salaries on April 30, we thought they’ll receive it the following day or on May 2 but that too never happened. How are they supposed to pay their bills and feed their families? Dlungwane continued with his day as usual and went to deliver a budget speech like nothing happened. Even during his budget speech he only mentioned last year’s increment. What about the increment for this year because this is the new financial year?” Ngcobo asked.

Ngcobo said that they have been contacting the department [education] enquiring about the increment since last year but nothing has come out of it.

“The department told us they will back-pay all the teachers from April last year, but they have been waiting since then. If they [department] don’t solve this problem soon we are going to take this matter to the next level.

This was just a peaceful picketing to pass a message to the department.”Ngcobo also accused the department for spending lots of money on sanitary towels in schools instead of giving the teachers an increment.

Department of education spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo said that they have spoken to workers and more than 50% of them have been paid. “Those who have not yet received their salaries they will get it soon.

We are experiencing problems with our systems.”

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