Newspaper clipping – The Mercury – 23 July 2008

Teachers to get strike pay, promises MEC

Latoya Newman

The KwaZulu-Natal education department has promised that teachers who worked during last year’s strike recovery plan will receive their overtime pay this month.

Teachers’ unions said yesterday that the pay was long overdue, coming almost a year after the recovery programme began last July to make up for teaching lost during a public servants’ strike earlier in the year.

Education MEC Ina Cronje said the payment of the arrear salaries had been put through for this month.
            “The vast majority of teachers who participated in the recovery plan have been paid,” she said. However; there were exceptions, such as in cases in which an employee had recently been promoted or in the case of queries on capped leave payments.
            “As soon as the national treasury furnishes us with the exception cases report, we will commence with manual payments to those affected employees,” said Cronje.

National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa spokesman Anthony Pierce said the organization would wait for the department to deliver on its promise.

South African Democratic Teachers Union spokesman Sipho Nkosi criticized the department for not informing unions or teachers of its decisions.
            “According to a court settlement earlier this year, the department was supposed to make the payments by July. But we are encouraged to hear the news. We just warn the department to stick to the terms of that court order,” he said.