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KZN teachers threaten strike

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KwaZulu-Natal - More than 5 000 KwaZulu-Natal Grade R teachers have threatened to strike over salary adjustments not being put into effect, their union said on Wednesday.

“When public servants received 2012/2013 salary increments of 7percent with effect from May 1 this year, about 5200 Grade R teachers in the KwaZulu-Natal did not receive increases,” said the National Teachers Union (Natu).

Deputy president Allen Thompson said Grade R teachers were paid R4000 a month, and this was unfair as they did the same amount of work that other teachers in other Grades did.

“This is exploitation at its best and is bad when it is done by the democratically elected government who claim to represent the best interest of the poor and the middle class,” Thompson said.

Natu has a membership of about 90 percent Grade R teachers employed by the KwaZulu-Natal education department, he said.

Thompson said the union had asked Premier Zweli Mkhize to intervene. The union would embark on a strike if Mkhize did not respond by the end of next week.

“This implies that at the start of the 2013 academic year, there will be no Grade R educators in class until such time that they have clear conditions of employment, with well-stipulated benefits,” he said.

The department of education does not contribute to Grade R teachers' pension pay out, medical benefits or bonuses, Thompson said.

The provincial department of education could not be immediately reached for comment. - Sapa


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