KZN education dept locks horns with Sadtu over paying absent teachers

2016-02-24 16:26

Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education is at odds with the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) over absenteeism and non-payment.

The department confirmed on Wednesday that it did not pay the salaries of thousands of teachers in February because they had failed to show up for work. The union accused the department of lying.

Education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said teachers who did not get paid should approach the department and stop discussing the matter in the media.

Mahlambi said the department took the decision after it decided to do a head count. Teachers had been warned that failure to show up would have serious consequences, but they had ignored the department.

Mahlambi said the department had told teachers they would not get paid electronically in February, but would have to collect their cheques in person.

"They have been ignoring us and simply going to the ATM to collect their salaries and continuing with their lives. Their salaries are there, waiting for them to physically collect," said Mahlambi.

Sadtu provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said more than 5 000 teachers had not been paid, despite being at school. They did not get their money when they went to collect it on February 16.

"The employer unilaterally decided to freeze the salaries, claiming that teachers did not present themselves for a head count."

If things did not change, Sadtu would "be forced to engage in action that would force the employer to reinstate salaries", Caluza said.

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