Strike and be disciplined, teachers warned

2013-04-23 22:27

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Johannesburg - Teachers joining a planned SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) protest march will face disciplinary procedures, the basic education department said on Tuesday.

"Principals that do not monitor and register the attendance of teachers will [also] be subjected to disciplinary procedures," said department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi.

"Educators that sign the register as being present at school but later leave to join protest action will be subjected to disciplinary procedures."

The department would apply the principle of no-work-no-pay, Lesufi said.

Sadtu announced that it would hold protest marches on Wednesday.

The union said close to 25 000 of its members were expected to take part in the national marches to the Union Buildings in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town.

"The marches are meant to increase the pressure on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan to resign from their... positions, in defence of collective bargaining and promotion of quality public education," Sadtu said in a statement.

It said Congress of SA Trade Union president Sidumo Dlamini would lead the march in Pretoria, and his second deputy Zingiswa Losi the march in Cape Town.

"The federation fully supports the marches in Cape Town and Pretoria organised by Sadtu, and the demands they are making on the defence of collective bargaining," said Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.

The SA Students Congress (Sasco) backed the march. "Sasco fully supports Sadtu in its justifiable struggle against the unilateral withdrawal of collective bargaining agreements by the department of basic education," said Sasco president Ngoako Selamolela.

"This unilateral withdrawal is not only mischievous but a direct undermining of our teachers and the working class in general."

Serious threat

Congress of the People said the protest march posed a threat to education.

"Sadtu's latest call for thousands of teachers to abandon classrooms and join protest action... is a serious threat which could paralyse education, especially in rural areas," said Cope MP Willie Madisha.

"Sadtu must be ashamed of its disgraceful conduct in our school system, because once again the union is victimising the children of our country, particularly the poor children who need the most in the way of development," he said.

On Monday, the basic education department and Sadtu failed to agree on whether the marches were legal.

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said at the time the union had been granted permission by the City of Tshwane to march in Pretoria.

In Pretoria, marchers planned to gather at the old Putco depot in Marabastad at 09:00.

They would march along Cowie, Struben, and Nelson Mandela Streets to the Union Buildings.

In Cape Town, the marchers would gather at 10:30 in Keizergracht and move along Darling, Adderley, Spin, and Plein Streets to Parliament.

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

Democratic Alliance MP Annette Lovemore said the march was an attack on pupils' right to learn.

"Sadtu and Cosatu's calls for Grade 10 to 12 learners and teachers to stay away from schools tomorrow and join them in their planned illegal march to Parliament and other locations across the country is a flagrant attack on the constitutional rights of our learners."

Lovemore said she would ask the SA Human Rights Commission to investigate both Sadtu and Cosatu.

Meanwhile, Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant called on pupils to ignore Sadtu's call.

"Parents should enquire what arrangements have been made that learners are supervised should any of their educators not arrive at work," said Grant's spokesperson Bronagh Casey.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cosatu  |  donald grant  |  angie motshekga  |  annette lovemore  |  bobby soobrayan  |  sidumo dlamini  |  strikes  |  education

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