Govt offer an insult - Sadtu

2010-08-31 18:03

Cape Town – Members of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) from a Western Cape branch said on Tuesday the new offer tabled by the state is an “insult”.

Government came to the table with a new offer of a 7.5% wage increase and a R800 housing allowance on Monday. Members of the union had to decide on whether they would accept the latest offer.

During a meeting of Sadtu’s Nyanga branch in Cape Town, members rejected the government’s new offer, with some saying that the 0.5% increase from government was an "insult".

"Nothing less than 8.6%," said a Sadtu member attending the meeting. "I say no to 7.5%."

"We should sustain the strike," said another. "If we don't, we (have) risked the education of our children and our salaries for only 0.5%."

Vusi Ntlantla, chairperson of Sadtu's Nyanga branch, explained to members that they must decide on a way forward now that they have decided to reject the government’s new offer.

Nyanga members were unimpressed when Ntlantla reminded them that even though they have rejected the new offer, other branches may not do the same, which means the national committee may still decide to accept the offer.

"We need to ask ourselves the question: Are we in the position to sustain the strike? We need you to give us an indication of a way forward," said Ntlantla.

Twenty one days to accept

Unions have been warned that they only have 21 days to accept government's new offer. Otherwise the state will revert to its initial offer of a 5.3% wage increase and a R620 monthly housing allowance.

Sadtu's deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi told News24 that meetings are taking place across the country to "check members attitude towards (government’s) offer and what they feel we should do moving forward".

Dolopi said that that the union should start to receive feedback from these meetings by late afternoon. "We hope that we have feedback (from everyone) by early tomorrow morning (Wednesday)."

Sadtu hopes that by Wednesday the union’s national executive committee will "put together" a proposal based on the feedback it received from their provincial branches, added Dolopi.

Meanwhile, matric pupils at Nhlanganiso Secondary School in Khayelitsha have been given past exam papers to complete, but no one is available to help them as teachers and other public servants are in a deadlock with the government over the pay increase.

Nosabatha Baliso told News24 that they were given the exam papers before the teachers embarked on the strike.

"They (exam papers) have been helping, but when we don't understand something, we have to skip it as we don't have someone to explain it to us," she said. "I don't think I'm ready for exams. If someone were there to help me, I'd be ready."

Nosabatha's father, Mziwoxolo Baliso said that although he believed the teachers had a right to strike, the pupils were, in the end, the ones that were suffering.

Unfortunate situation

"We send the children to school, and we expect them (teachers) to take over the role of the parent," he said. "But, now they've put us in this unfortunate situation.

"The teachers are parents too themselves. It would have been better had they sat down with us as parents and consulted us on this decision to strike."

He added that should a child fail a grade and repeat a year, it would be the parents that would be stuck with the financial burden.

On Monday, the strike effect in the Western Cape had been described as "minor".

Eighty two schools, 5.2% of the total, were closed on Tuesday because of strike action, and 13% of educators were absent from work.

Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant said on Friday that preliminary exams would go ahead as scheduled.

"This decision has been taken in the best interests of learners," Grant said, according to Sapa.

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  • terry - 2010-08-31 18:11

    Institute perfomance based increases as soon as possible. No performance - no increase.

  • Mosima Mphela - 2010-08-31 18:33

    I think the government employees must say NO to the new offer bcos it seem as they were fighting for nothing.Why extra 0.5% not 1.6%?The government is playing Hide and Seek with its employees.They fought for 8.6% and they must make sure that at the end of the strike they have exactly that.When you engage on a fight ensure that the results are fruitful.Dont give up,Sooner or Later the government will give you exactly what you want.GOOD LUCK

  • CONCERNED PARENT - 2010-08-31 18:40

    What A poor response, I say Fire the LOT

  • Liziwe - 2010-08-31 18:45

    The teachers have the right to strike and make their point known but whatever has happened to the rights of the child and their right to an education. I salute all teachers who work under difficult conditions and have faced intimidation in upholding professional commitment and the rights of the child. The silence of the that tame pathetic little lap dog - the Human Rights Commission is deafening!

  • elleanor - 2010-08-31 18:59

    I think at least government has comeup with a better offer but government should also understand the outcry of the people especially those on a lower level. The increament of 7.5% will have a huge impact on higher level salaries but atleast for once think about those who earns little. Going to any bank for a housing loan will cost you alot of money and still government does not want to see the pain finance have on our people.

  • Mike - 2010-08-31 19:16

    Fortunately I dont have children of matric age or at Govt schools so....
    I'm rather enjoying the strikes all over the country....some day - but probably not in my elderly lifetime - the voting public will wake up to the fact that you get what you elect !! I look forward to a breakup in the Alliance - and when the ANC, Cosatu, the SACP and the DA fight out a national election on leveler playing fields. Until then racist politics will rule - and the ANC hogs will continue to feed at the communal trough at the expense of the country. Thinking about it, I'm glad I dont have kids graduating into our current warped economic environment. And it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

  • Ronnie shabalala - 2010-08-31 20:18

    I am a SADTU member, I dismiss the offer by the government/DPSA in all fairness. We should understand that some of the issues on the table were thare for the past three years what have the stae done about them, nothing. Lets refer to CA 4 of 2009 the state commited itself on the 1st April as the implemantation date, and what is happening now they are shifting from the agreement where they are signitories unilaterally. This shows that our goverment is not sereous. To the workers of the state Iam saying "we have power as the only tool to show our frustrations, forward ever backwards never. AMANDLA!"

  • nobs - 2010-08-31 20:24

    teahers are crazy for 8.6% but arelazy have high failure rate. Why govt must pay for their laziness?

  • Pathetic - 2010-08-31 21:11

    My girlfriend is a qualified teacher (4-year degree) but all she could find was a governing body post at a primary school, at a quarter of the salary of a departmental post. Yet she's at work EVERY DAY during this strike because she realizes that she has a job to do. And yes, she belongs to a union, but their banana republic tactics have proven that to be money in the water. Fire some of the dead wood and give those willing to work departmental posts, and if they want a large percentage increase, let them show the results - not a less-than-50% pass rate not withstanding the low standards. The unions should get real and start promoting excellence, not entitlement.

  • simon - 2010-09-01 01:45

    Strikers are on the right track as our new governmant only understand the language of strike.The only way of living a presidential life stile is to strike as is the only way to be recognized as a human being.Our President got his position by fighting ,so his followers also do the same .

  • AES - 2010-09-01 05:33

    We should sustain the strike," said another. "If we don't, we (have) risked the education of our children and our salaries for only 0.5%."??????? WTF are these dumbasses the people that educate the children of today?seriosly, its a good offer take it!! destroy a country for 1.1% and r200. There is so much good in this world, and then this.............grrrrrrr

  • Jorene - 2010-09-01 06:53

    Everyone behaved themselves while the World Cut was on. Why does the Government not use the billions they received from FIFA to uplift our Teachers and Healthcare.

  • George - 2010-09-01 07:30

    Come the next elections they will still vote ANC, so stupid !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Collitjies - 2010-09-01 08:18

    What do these poor underpaid persons want except for the ability to purchase the most expensive BMW or Merc.They knew full well when entering this profession that salaries were not that good and now they expect to be paid like an industry CEO.With all the paid holidays they get, ag, shame.

  • Travis@collitjies - 2010-09-01 10:40

    Collitjies, my girlfriend is a teacher and I can assure you she has no aspirations of ever owning a BMW. Please keep your ridiculous, ignorant comments to yourself in future.

  • SB Serage - 2010-09-01 11:03

    as a goverment employee iam very concern with our so called goverment. iam at level 5
    with this increase at the lowest level itslike and insult.i went to strike for what i believe i deserve.i say to hell with this offer and let the war go on.Zuma and his so-called cabinet care about themselves and thei families. those who think we want to earn like some CEO bayahlanya. we need living wage that's it. i need to buy a house too.wara wara

  • Kira - 2010-09-01 11:06

    It seems a lot of the greater public have a very warped perception of teachers and education. I teach high school kids at a government school and my day is never done. Regardless of holidays and the school day ending at 3. This is the time when the LEARNERS aren't at school. This is the only time we get to plan lessons, mark exams and projects, recover from being babysitters, counsellors, managers and sales persons of education and generally to spend quality time with our own families and friends without the stress of what a full teaching day entails. Teaching teenagers is the most emotionally, mentally and physically challenging activity I've ever engaged in on a permanent day-to-day basis. I'm not asking for a corporate salary or a BMW for that matter. I'm asking for that permanent financial stress that's sits on my shoulders every payday and month-end to be lifted only slightly. For some sort of reprieve from the stresses of being a teacher in this country.

  • @ Kira - 2010-09-01 12:09

    Get a grip on reality! The majority of us get 15 to 20 days of leave per annum and work at least a 9 to 5.. then there is still overtime that needs to be put in as required and our personal lives to live.This is called employment. If you wanted an overinflated salary then you should have done something else. Educatiors should teach because of their passion for moulding young minds nothing more or less. But striking and putting an entire year of learners at risk as they approach their final exams is nothing short of despicably short sighted. There is nothing stopping you from entering the private sector other than your own ineptitude and I cant see why we the taxpayers should foot that bill.

  • Jules - 2010-09-01 12:29

    Whilst I do not agree with the intimidation and full time strike, I do understand what the teachers & nurses are fighting for. They earn a pittance for what they do and they are classed as essential services..... Isn't it about time the overpaid Government employees (the president, MPs, Municipal managers etc) took a huge cut and gave it to those who need to earn a decent wage. Oh and they can also take away all the money spend on that waste of space Malema and use that responsibly too!!!

  • bobbi T - 2010-09-01 12:43

    I love the way the chickens have come home to roost - the ANC used these tactics on the apartheid regime and now their own are using it against them - solidarity rules. But even the apartheid regime didn't screw the whites over as badly as the ANC is screwing their supporters (don't remember John Vorster owning expensive cars and mansions all over the country, do you?)

  • Jules @ @Kira - 2010-09-01 13:20

    If you actually listened to the likes of Kira and the other teachers, you would have heard that they are not looking for an over inflated salary like yours (@ @Kira) - they just want a decent wage. Yes they are passionate about what they do but that does not mean they should suffer financially. Do the maths and you will see that teachers work either the same number of hours in a day or even more than you do - they get to work at 07h00 to prepare before the kids arrive or to attend staff meetings, school finishes at 2 and then they have to assist with extra murals for at least an hour (in most cases it is not an option). Only then can they mark books and prepare for the next day - so in reality they probably work a 10 hour a day to your 8 hours. They put in overtime every day in order for your children to be educated!!! Of course, yes they get more holidays than we do but even with this increase they will not be earning anywhere close to the private sector so I guess they have that perk to keep them a little happier.

  • nellie - 2010-09-01 13:32

    Government must give them money because really to be teacher and a nurse its a tough job, today we know how to comunicate and write because of these teachers,lets think where we come from grade o.

  • ALLENORE - 2010-09-01 13:40

    the people that is striking i think personally that they are greedy..........most of all they want us to stand by them so that they can have they way.................but what about the people out there including myself that are waiting for a RDP house but we all have to wait patiently.............i'm on the list for almost 6 years and i am struggling at this moment but we have to wait and see if you going to get a home........why dont you gyz strike for the people to get houses from the gys are selfish you only worry about yourself...........has long as you gyz are happy and get what you want you dont care aboout other people.................i think that what the goverment is offering you gyz is more then enough.......... there is people that have to live from a pay check of R300 a week here you gyz want R20 000 a month.........pls stop

  • Francois - 2010-09-01 13:41

    I think that most people commenting over the past couple of days on this site as well as others have no idea of what the salaries of civil servants are so make ignorant comments. There is a very high turn over in many post levels due to people not willing to work for the salaries paid by government and they only use it as a stepping stone untill something better comes along. This results in many positions being vacant and with the long process to fill vacancies (up to 4 months from advertisement) those that stay behind must do the extra work. After 18 years in civil service and my wife 9 years we are both on "higher" salary levels and we still cannot afford the bond on a house in a township not to mention in the area we stay now. Government is a very arrogant employer threating its workers while it feels nothing for them. In a couple of months time the parliamentarians will humbly receive double figure increases that while they refused 8.6% to their workers.

  • DeonL - 2010-09-01 13:45

    Next offer should be the same as CPI = 3.7%. They should not get money that the state can not afford! I agree the leaders should get less, but that won't help the workers in the long run as these high increases will result in Job losses! The Unions are failing the workers by increasing unemployment!

  • Johan du Toit - 2010-09-01 13:50

    Think of the following:

    If it is no work, no pay:
    If your salary is R 4,000 per month you earn R 200 per day.

    The strike is in it 13th day - you have forfeited R 2,600 in salary to date to strike.

    You get the 8.5% increase - simplified it is R 4,000 x 8.5% = R 340.00 per month.

    You have lost, to date, R2,600 in income - it is going to take you 7.647058824
    months to recover (that is with the increase money), the income you have lost due to no work no pay.

    You will therefore only benefit from the increase in the eight month?

    Your real increase is therefore 3.0833333333333300%

    The above discounts the suffering of people in hospitals and places of care - is it really worth striking at the cost of human lives

  • AJ @ Ronnie shabalala - 2010-09-01 13:55

    It is your right to dismiss the offer by govt, but tell me why do you threaten chidlren with violence, and threaten or assualt other teachers who do want to work and have a right to?

  • croix - 2010-09-01 14:51

    @@Kira - You clearly do not have the foggiest idea of what teachers' lives are like. I do not agree with the full-time strikes either, but teachers go through hell and back on a daily basis with very little remuneration. In fact, teaching is deemed the second most stressful job of all time - after air traffic control. My wife has been teaching for 38 years, has a tertiary education and works 12 to 14 hours a day - she is a dedicated and a fine teacher, but gets no overtime and very often has to spend her hard-earned salary to buy stuff for teaching (the school simply has not enough money to supply everything). So, if you don't know what you're talking about, the go play and leave the comments for the grown-ups.

  • Noma @George - 2010-09-01 15:04

    When people voted for JZ they didn't know that this was how things were going to turn out, they had faith in him because of the empty promises that he made.Just because you unknowingly voted for your unruling party does not make you any smart.
    Now stop showing your shallow mind and dwelling on your hopelessness as if you knew better stupid cow! Nobody knows the future,so stop blaming the people for their catastrophic vote you fool!!!

  • Me @ Noma - 2010-09-01 15:49

    I think only people with less than half a brain, voted for Zuma. Everyone knew about his way of life and being corrupt, so what did his followers expect would happen? Everything is going down the drain, even more than before his reign.

  • @ @Kira - 2010-09-01 15:51

    Are you a teacher? Do you have the first clue? I have a high-paying corporate job. My best friend has the same degree as me, yet she chose to follow her passion for teaching. SHE
    a) works far longer hours than I do
    b) she followed a calling to be instrumental in the development of South Africa's youth
    c) started as an inspired motivated teacher but is now jaded by the lack of support, financial and other that is given to her and her colleagues
    d) cannot survive on her salary. Point.
    How do you expect people to want to even ENTER into that profession under those circumstances? What do you see as the future of education in South Africa if there is no teacher support from the government? Who on earth would want to be a teacher with the amount of energy it demands and lack of reward??
    You can sit and pontificate from your "we all work" position but, until you've actually been in that situation and understood the challenge, you have no place to comment.

  • @Johan du Toit - 2010-09-01 15:55

    they will be back payed as well from the time the negotiations started... either way they wil"l get their "happy ending

  • Tracey @ Johan du Toit - 2010-09-01 15:55

    Wow Johan, your maths is really good. You must have had a great teacher!

    It's the principle of the matter...

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