Dept, Sadtu at impasse over strike

2013-04-22 22:44

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Johannesburg - The basic education department and Sadtu failed to agree on Monday on whether a planned march by teachers later this week was legal.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said it had complied with all the provisions of the Gatherings Act.

General secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the union was granted permission by the relevant City of Tshwane authorities to march in Pretoria on Wednesday,

"We can state without any fear of contradiction that the mass action of 24 April, to the Union Buildings in Tshwane, is legal," he said in a statement.

"It has come to our attention that the department of basic education is embarking on a futile exercise through various media platforms to mislead the country that our scheduled march on Wednesday, is illegal and unprotected."

However, the basic education department said drastic action would be taken against teachers going on strike.

"The department has put systems in place to ensure that those embarking on this unprotected strike will be subjected to disciplinary processes," spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement.

"[We] wish to stress that it is permissible by law to strike, yet an illegal strike of this nature will not be condoned and those wishing to take part must bear in mind the consequences of their actions."

Lesufi said the no-work-no-pay policy would apply.

Principals not keeping track of teacher attendance would be subjected to disciplinary procedures. So would teachers who joined the strike after being registered.

Strike committees were established by the department to monitor the effects of the strike on Wednesday, he said.

Maluleke said he wanted to assure Sadtu members that no one who participated in the strike would be victimised.

"We want to state that it would assist the nation if the department of basic education can understand the difference between a strike and a march instead of embarking on a lying extravaganza out of desperation," said Maluleke.

"The department of basic education must not mislead the public by using terms that demonstrate desperation to suffocate the voice of the workers such as 'unlawful march' and 'unprotected strike'."

Sadtu members have been on a national go-slow since pupils returned from the Easter holiday.

The union is calling for the resignation of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  angie motshekga  |  bobby soobrayan  |  strikes  |  education

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