December 2, 2006

Trade Union criticises ‘inefficient’ education department

The department of education still owes payments to 200.000 teachers that were agreed upon in April, South Africa's largest public service union has said. Wage increases and incentives for teachers were agreed upon in April but payments had only started in three provinces, said Shireen Pardesi, the South Africa Democratic Teachers Union’s (Sadtu) negotiator. According to her, over 200 000 teachers were affected in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumulanga, the North-West and the Northern Cape. "People are expecting these payments as they were agreed upon. It is December and they still have not been paid."

The union also claimed that the department was delaying payment in some provinces as a "last ditch attempt" to enforce performance assessments on teachers unlawfully, and that teachers were being punished for monies due to them. Finally, the union announced that it would wait for the outcome of a final meeting ELRC meeting before taking the matter to its structures for action. The department of education was not immediately available for comment. (iafrica.com / Sapa)

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