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Teachers’ union queries salaries

Some temporary teachers and grade R practitioners have not been paid their salaries.

The provincial secretary for the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), Walter Hlaise, said the Department of Education appears not to value teachers. According to him, some temporary teachers and grade R practitioners have not been paid their salaries.

Some of those that were paid only received partial salaries, and the department also delayed these teachers’ monthly payments. Sadtu said this provocation cannot go unpunished.

Hlaise said, “We are upset. Our view is that the department does not respect or value temporary teachers, which is why it stops or cuts their salaries as they will. The information from our members is that most of them were paid, but their salaries have been cut. Up to today we do not know why. Some have not been reinstated despite the fact that the contracts end March 31.”

Sadtu released a statement on January 30, expressing its dissatisfaction.

“We are again called to intervene and stop this abuse of vulnerable sectors. We further call on the department to immediately hold those who are responsible for this nefarious deed to account.” According to Hlaise, these temporary teachers are not the ones in the president’s initiative and are not the ones that have not been paid after working during lockdown.

“This is a different group altogether; these temporary teachers have been working for years, some for about six years,” he explained. The delay of payments, lack of payments and salary cuts have been expressed by hundreds of teachers on social media.

According to one, Jane Mkhonto (not her real name), her salary was cut by R5 000 and she is failing to make ends meet. “The department did not communicate anything to us. I was surprised when I saw my money was not enough. We have been working for so many years and we are shocked to see all this confusion. We have responsibilities and families that depend on us,” she explained.

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Mkhonto said the unfair part is how they are expected to get to work without money for transport. The department issued a statement apologising for the confusion and delays in payments.

Jasper Zwane, the spokesperson for the department, said they will finalise the reinstatement and payment of temporary teachers, including grade R practitioners, this week.

“The grade R practitioners should expect their salaries this week. The department sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused due to the delay in finalising the payments.”

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Zwane told Mpumalanga News’s sister publication, Lowvelder, that the department is currently resolving the matter. The schools reopened last Monday

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