Teachers may strike over working hours

2012-01-19 14:06

Johannesburg - Long hours and poor working conditions could lead Eastern Cape teachers to embark on protests, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in the province said on Thursday.

"The issue is around temporary teachers who were retrenched by the department [of education], leaving [permanent] teachers overworked," said spokesperson Nolitha Mboniswa.

Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said teachers were being redeployed from schools with a surplus of teachers to those where they were needed most in an annual redistribution based on subjects offered and pupil intake.

Mboniswa said some teachers - who normally worked about 26-and-a-half hours a week - were now forced to work more than 35 hours a week.

The strain of the added workload combined with the work left by the retrenched temporary staff and preparations for the year ahead meant teachers were overburdened.

Pulumani said the redistribution of teachers was aimed at ensuring the workload was more evenly distributed.

Where teachers needed to be moved, the district offices would make every effort to keep them near their homes and families.

"Temporary teachers who have a degree but no teaching qualifications cannot be employed as full-time teachers," Pulumani said.

"Often they refused to move from surplus schools - we call this 'double parking' - and this has been a bone of contention."

He said Sadtu and the department had bumped heads over this issue for the past 10 years, but they would keep working to resolve their differences.

Mboniswa said the union was not protesting for larger salaries, but for working conditions which would enable them to provide the best education possible for Eastern Cape pupils and improve pass rates.

"We are consulting with our members about what action should be taken.... We will do anything in our power to ensure we get our plight recognised," Mboniswa said.

African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe was expected to meet the union later on Thursday.

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-19 14:18

    And we wonder why our education system is in such a state??? What about all those holidays you get off? Let's agree you work shorter hours but then you put in a full year's work like the rest of us with only 15 days leave.

      procold2 - 2012-01-19 14:25

      gerhard 35 hours a week with 3 holidays and this years the december holiday was 5 weeks , i dont see the long hours but i do see the state the education system is in and this happening in the the most efficiant province in the country , i am truly gobsmacked.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-19 14:29

      Fail them all and send them back to ... where did this lot study?

      George - 2012-01-19 14:30

      "HOW TO STRIKE IS NOW A SUBJECT" but dont have to pass it

      ubhejane - 2012-01-19 15:04

      I am speechless! They work 35 hours a week and they are complaining? Fire them and appoint the teachers without B.Ed permanently. We simply don't have time for these games any more!!!! Millions of kids are suffering and being left behind in a world they will not be able to function as productive units in future. We have enough unproductive people in South Africa. We can no longer nurture this culture that work is a curse!!!!!!!!!!!!

      ubhejane - 2012-01-19 15:06

      @George. You are right. This is the way to teach kids that whenever anything doesn't go your way, be it actually working, then you strike until you have the right to sit in the sun and get paid for it.

      Rentia - 2012-01-19 15:13

      "Mboniswa said some teachers - who normally worked about 26-and-a-half hours a week - were now forced to work more than 35 hours a week" S E R I O U S L Y ??? What the *cluck*?? Normal private sector work hours is around 40 hours a week (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). Not to mention the looooong holidays in April, July, Oct and December. I am in the wrong job line.... eish...

      Brigitte - 2012-01-19 16:13

      Yip as a teacher I agree. I teach little ones and my school day is 7hrs and then at least another 3hrs at home...where they come with 26hrs?????

  • Myvision - 2012-01-19 14:22

    i thought its supposed to be a 40 hour week

  • Modefan - 2012-01-19 14:23

    A whole 35 hours a week? You must be joking

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-19 14:33

      They are probably referring to actual teaching time, which is a massive load. Remember the teachers have to prepare, mark homework, tests and exams and set papers. There is also admin work. You are looking at well over 50 hours a week.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-19 14:41

      What about all those school holidays they get off? And I work way more than 50 hours a week, some weekends as well and no, I don't get overtime. I do get 15 days leave though. It's called hard work, that is how you get somewhere in life.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-19 14:45

      And yes, they do get a lot of leave, but I'm sure if they had the choice they would sacrifice some leave if only they got paid more than the pittance they are getting now.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-19 15:06

      Stefan a 25 hour lecture week in tertiary is the limit as marking, prep, etc takes time, and tertiary doesn't get holidays like schools. However at school level what exactly there is to prepare I am not sure. After school they should be involved in extra mural anyway, making their day, with lunch and breaks, about 7:30 - 5pm with an hour off. I doubt in the RC they do the extra murals so I am not sure what their problem is. I work in tertiary and I know what it's like. They are lazy.

      Cina - 2012-01-19 15:43

      @stefan sorry the teachers give the kids more projects to do than anything else so they don't need to teach them.

      Juan - 2012-01-19 17:01

      35 Hours, ag shame in my industry that is short time. No wonder our education system is in such a mess. ZERO work ethic by our comrades.

      Jay - 2012-01-19 18:25

      thats 2 and half days of my week

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-19 14:23

    Is not a 42+ hour workweek what most other people have to do? It is hightime these people buckles down and do what is right for a change. Waiting for things to be made better by others will not help, it is time that they do something themselves, again like most other people do.

  • Lucille - 2012-01-19 14:27

    Welcome to the real world people. I have workers who put in 45 hours a week and earn a lot less than you. They dont get 13 weeks leave a year plus sick leave, plus maternity leave etc etc etc. You all knew the conditions of employment when you started/ chose to do this job why moan now that you have it??????

      Brigitte - 2012-01-19 16:16

      sick leave? maternity leave? sick leave cycle same for both school and business world. maternity too. some schools don't even give paid maternity leave!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-01-19 16:41

      Problem with paid maternity leave is some employees purposefully fall pregnant so they get time off work. This abuse makes it very destructive and unfair - and the perps end up with big families they cannot afford to look after properly!

  • Anso - 2012-01-19 14:28

    hhaaii shame.... and here a 40 hour week (or more) is pretty normal...

  • Kooven - 2012-01-19 14:30

    "who normally worked about 26-and-a-half hours a week - were now forced to work more than 35 hours a week." How lazy can you be?

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-19 14:30

    35 hours does not a work week make, time for teachers to suck it up and work the legislated 45 hour week everyone else is forced to endure.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-19 14:37

      Wait, now some teacher is going to comment on your comment about how they have to prepare for the next day and mark exams and blah, blah, blah. We all put in extra effort all of the time and most of the time we don't get paid for it. Everytime they moan, they forget to mention their 150 days paid annual leave they get. So they have to work hard for two thirds of the year, if that, big deal!

  • Nosiphom - 2012-01-19 14:34

    35 hours a week are deemed too much ?? What about the many many months of paid holidays ?

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-19 14:37

    Is this the amount of time spent teaching in the classroom or does it include coaching, marking and lesson prep time. If it includes it then they are just being lazy and need a kick in the bum.

  • willie.uys - 2012-01-19 14:37

    Shame, they are having to work 35hrs a week!!! No wonder our education system is in a mess because they don't work the average 40hrs they need to if we are going to do a good job. And the union is supporting this?

  • Zion - 2012-01-19 14:40

    This is mind-shattering. The average teacher, it seems is working just over 5 hrs a day for a 26hr week. For a 35hr week it comes to 7hrs a day. Overall the average workerof all disciplines is working 8 to 9 hours a day per week which is 40 to 45 hrs a week. when the teachers refer to poor working conditions then they themselves are to blame. When one looks at the complete package it is hilarious to say the least: Teachers get every single holiday off which is more than some most outside jobs. Or are they moaning about the extra mural classes they have to give after hours? Were the teachers assessed for their performance it should include higher pass rates especially matric. Their poor working conditions can only be rectified if they themselves made an effort. It is easier sitting back moaning and expect others to serve the cookies and tea while their classes are in chaos. I have no sympathy for them.

  • Nasiefa - 2012-01-19 14:41

    They just went back to school and already a strike?????????WTF

      Gerhard - 2012-01-19 14:43

      Their holiday was too short.

  • Vickers - 2012-01-19 14:49

    I am a teacher. School is just out and I am on my way to do some coaching. This will carry on until almost 5 and then I go home and prepare for tomorrow. I have no clue how long my work week is and I don't really care. I receive the same salary as those lazy buggers, never had a grade 12 pupil fail on me in the last 10 years and striking is not even an option for me. I enjoy my job and I believe that I am making a positive contribution. I am not a Sadtu member. Oh and I am not the hardest worker on the staff. Some of my colleagues does a lot more. We are teaching at an ex model C school

      MastersVoice - 2012-01-19 15:06

      Some of my colleagues DO a lot more. Extra classes for you!

      Chantal - 2012-01-19 15:11

      go for coaching why? ask the univ. for your class fees back, and you been teaching for more that 10 years the same subject and need to pre-pare? and please remember to mention the bonus teachers take out of school fees that parents don't know about

      Deon - 2012-01-19 16:09

      Chantal coaching the kids at sport I assume, not himself.

      Twolips - 2012-01-19 17:08

      @Vickers. Thank you for your comment. I have commented in a similar vein. Looks like most people here simply have no clue as to what a teacher's day is like. However, if the teachers need to work more i.e. be in the classroom more, then the pupils will have to be there too, won't they? We can't teach withouth them can we?

      Siyanda - 2012-01-19 19:07

      @Vickers I commend your efforts. With more dedicated teachers like you, our results can only improve and we can send out more educated youth into the real world. Well done and keep up your commitment.

  • debbieew - 2012-01-19 14:54

    I would love to work 35 hours a week and three months holiday per year

      Prec - 2012-01-19 21:39

      So why don't you?

  • MastersVoice - 2012-01-19 15:01

    As the poorest performing province in SA (considering your average farm chicken could get a matric), I think they should all be fired! It may even result in better results next year if the pupils did not have to listen to these creatures...

  • Willie - 2012-01-19 15:01

    Hehehehe What a lot of rubbish.....35 hours per week....7 hours per day. You don't have to do extra murial activities - it is NOT compulsory. A Teacher who is worth the name "Teacher" wil work for the greater good of the children AND teach properly in the class. Chase away these teachers who don't want to work and get teachers who want to teach children. Away with these spineless people who are to afraid to work....get new vibrant people who wants to work with children in every sphere of a childs education.

      Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-19 15:08

      I agree completely! It shows the difference teachers and educators and they are by no means educators. Lazy swine!

      Prec - 2012-01-19 21:45

      If you do not 'volunteer' to do extra-mural you would not get a teaching job in a good school. With the 'voluntary' coaching comes lot of sport admin and travelling. In the end, with marking, admin, setting up of worksheets, tests and exam papers, parent interviews, discipline, intervention, etc. you work easily 13-14 hours a day, plus weekends and school holidays (CAPS training etc.) Six hours of teaching (35+ children). And contrary to popular belief, they do not sit still and listen and do their work. It is sad to see so many negative comments. Plus the salary is not that great. Many teachers only get a measly salary from a Goverment body.

      Rudi - 2012-01-19 22:10

      Yes Willie. Its a shame that people think that all teachers are lazy and afraid to work. The biggest problem is that the gap between performers and non performers are huge, and they get the same pay.

  • Michael - 2012-01-19 15:02

    What work? Look at the Eastern Cape results! Will the scholars miss them when they go on strike? They are hardly at school infront of the class. Maybe they must work 72hours to get the standard in the Easten Cape at an acceptable level!

  • J-Man - 2012-01-19 15:04

    Typical. Give or we strike.

  • Danielle - 2012-01-19 15:25

    If only we were all so fortunate to work 35 hours a week. Its seems teachers think they are the only ones that need to prepare for work.... Most professionals I know often take work home and work weekends without overtime, and then many of them still help out at their children's school events. Yes- people, this after working an actual 40-45 hour week.

  • Robert - 2012-01-19 15:26

    These teachers are PATHETIC - They are not there for the pupils and it is quite obvious that they are quite happy to see our youth remain ignorant and un-skilled. No sympathy !!

  • kerrimg - 2012-01-19 15:29

    i work 40 hours a week and only get 15days leave

  • kerrimg - 2012-01-19 15:30

    is this the start of the teachers strike, if one province starts the other follows. and its only the beginning of the school term

  • Newsmonger - 2012-01-19 15:36

    We have to be the only nation in the world that dances and sings when we dont get what we want (we as in trade unions.) whilst I do understand why the unions are there this is just redicilous. When one goes then all go - they stand to cripple our economy.

      Newsmonger - 2012-01-19 15:37

      if the anc dont do it before them on another paaaaarty

  • Adriaan - 2012-01-19 15:38

    One valid point made in the article is the terrible working conditions in the Eastern Cape. The fact is still that the strike would not resolve it. Since when are the pupils not the top priority in the education system... When working @ a Matric marking center in December, the woman that was the head of the operation got paid more then R50 000 for two weeks of work and "man did she work hard".... Dearest Department of education... Prioritize!!!!!!

  • Cina - 2012-01-19 15:39

    Ag shame only 35 hours and don't tell me they work themselves to a stand still what about the rest of us that works 45 hours and more. The Eastern Cape are to lazy to work that is the whole problem no wonder that province education is in such a mess.

  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-19 15:40

    Holiday is over, the striking starts. No wonder we have LOW PASS RATES!!!!

  • ian.rundle1 - 2012-01-19 15:43

    Ahhh!!!! the problem is becoming clear, uneducated teachers, teaching minimal hours, regularly striking during exam preperation times AND the result is??? A failed education system. I tell you what - lets sort it out by lowering the standards. This is the ANC way.

  • molaodid - 2012-01-19 16:05

    I am aproduct of SADTU this is an organised structurer, However, the vacum of leadership which africa is experiencing leaves me speachless, Some individuals who have not internalised the Vision and Mission of the movement do to know were to take the masses to.We need Visionarie.

      Zion - 2012-01-19 16:20


      antoinette.jordaan - 2012-01-19 16:29

      If this is a "product of SADTU".....yikes.

      Sharon - 2012-01-19 16:35

      @ molaodid You need to go back to school ( after the DA sorts out the problems) because you don`t know how to spell......structurer?????????????????

      molaodid - 2012-01-19 17:07

      I also need to comment of some views regarding 35 hours, You will never know until you travel the road, Teachers are working Longer hours in this country, Easter Cape or not.I also thought 7 hour will be a bonus it is not, I believe that once you have prepared a lesson you can repeat the same lesson, it will not work. Some of them even, take up Your child as if it is their problem, were most parents fail their children, they will not make noise. However. they are underpaid comparetively speaking.A Didaction,Pedagoc,Didascalia,Pastoral you name them,is not just ordinary,African has some political relief because of them. You must first travel then comment. Come on board.Model C what do you expect you work in a healthy environment, you know nothing.I am Just worried about the type of leadership in the Eastern Cape including the Ministry in SA.

  • Brigitte - 2012-01-19 16:11

    Um I am confused...they usually work a 26 hr week? WHAT?? I am at work by 7am, leave between 3.30 and 4pm and work till at least8pm on marking/pkanning etc almost every night. I WISH i worked a 35hr week!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-19 16:47

      I would imagine these teachers don't do much. There are all types.

      Prec - 2012-01-19 21:49

      Become a teacher!!

  • Twolips - 2012-01-19 17:02

    Although I'm now retired, let me tell you about my teaching time: 07:30 to 14:30 in the classroom. Then sport till 16:00 or later if your team plays an away match on weekdays (tennis), Saturdays at the pool or on the athletics track. I had 2 terms of swimming, 1 term of tennis and 1 term of athletics. At home I spent hours and hours marking, usually till 23:00. Easter holidays and October holidays were spent setting June/November exams as these had to be in on the first day after the holidays. After Christmas I would usually start to gear up for the next academic year and after New Year you'd find me in my classroom to organise the room and to start setting worksheets for at least the first week of school. And no, this was not at a private school, but at a former Model C school. Class sizes mostly 35 pupils and 5x 1-hour lessons a day. Break was taken up by meetings, staff meeting, subject meeting, grade meeting and sport meeting. And all that for a pitiful salary (but for the love of the job) and a now equally pitiful pension after 20+ years

  • Liza Anderson - 2012-01-19 18:23

    OMW! 7 hours a day! better not apply for an office job then!

      Prec - 2012-01-19 21:49

      Yes, become a teacher!!

      Rudi - 2012-01-19 22:23

      You will have a nervous breakdown and crawl back to your office job. It is one of the most exhausting jobs in the world.I teached for 20 years. Private sector is a breeze. When i leave office i relax and enjoy time with my family. Never had the time when teaching.

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