Major victory for striking teachers

2011-03-05 12:17

Johannesburg - The Labour Court has instructed the Kwazulu Natal department of education to reimburse 38 000 teachers whose salaries were docked because they apparently went on strike, The Star newspaper reported on Saturday.

The teachers, part of the National Teachers' Union (Natu), would not only get their pay reimbursed but receive an additional tax-free amount of 15.5% interest.

Natu said it was overjoyed at the court's decision, which would force the department to pay out a total of up to R18m, within two weeks.

"We are feeling vindicated and happy about today’s decision. It shows that the court is a court of law and that South Africa has a fair justice system. Next is Mpumalanga and Free State,” said union spokesperson Allen Thompson.

Education departments around the country implemented a 'no work, no pay' deduction to all teachers who they believed had taken part in last year's teacher strike.

The first deduction took place in February.

The move caused an uproar, with many teachers saying they had never taken part in the strike.

National education department spokesperson Granville Whittle said that teachers had been presented with many opportunities to prove they did not take place in strikes, however relevant documentation could still be submitted.

Deductions in other provinces were expected to continue until April.

  • POLLENYS - 2011-03-05 12:52

    Maybe they should see it as a bonus for the strikes which led to a 7% improvement in the pass rate.

  • Johann - 2011-03-05 13:41

    "apparently" went on strike. i dont get it!

      tonykzn - 2011-03-05 14:33

      It isn't very clear, but I THINK the report is saying that reimbursement plus interest will be paid to those teachers whose pay was docked erroneously because it was assumed that they'd gone on strike, when in actual fact they have been able to prove that they hadn't.

      Grant - 2011-03-05 15:04

      Typical weak reporting from SAPA regurgitated by News24. I think Tony has it right though. Thenk God the move to drop the grammar exam has been blocked, if this is the level of reporting that the current education system is generating can you just imagine where it would be heading. Those of us that learnt our three R's would have to be taking a class in "teenage text messaging" to keep up.

      tonykzn - 2011-03-05 15:20

      Grant, shouldn't that read "tnage txt msging"? :-)

      Grant - 2011-03-05 17:51

      Tony, tks for the giggle!

  • tonykzn - 2011-03-05 13:54

    Please note that the province's name is spelt "KwaZulu-Natal", not "Kwazulu Natal"

  • BigD - 2011-03-05 14:40

    Maybe if there was a better signing in system then the guilty teachers could be punished

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