The national executive committee of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) intends to turn to the court to seek an urgent order to compel at least four provinces to pay the 1.5% pay progression that was due at the end of July.
During its last ordinary meeting for the year, which was held at the Indaba Hotel, north of Johannesburg, this weekend, the NEC expressed its anger that the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces had failed to pay the 1.5% pay progression.
The NEC resolved to seek an urgent court order to compel the provinces to do so before the school year ended.
The NEC said it was aware of the “elements” outside Sadtu who were spreading lies about the union and its leadership, regarding the wage negotiations.
“The NEC dismisses such acts of populism and focus on servicing members by telling the truth,” it said.
“The teachers and education support personnel want the best – just like all workers – out of negotiations. But, with the experience of being the only ones who carry the ‘no work no pay’ when others don’t, they mandated the union to accept the offer in its totality.
“The union didn’t sign the agreement, but the employer declared (the) policy and implemented (it). Anything being spread around is lies, and lies have short legs because the truth always triumphs. Populists scream for applause but never take responsibility when they mislead members. The NEC requests members to be aware of such leaders or rumour mongers.”
Reflecting on the protracted 2022/23 round of wage negotiations, the NEC said the union’s decision to accept the employer’s offer in its totality had caused “opportunistic elements to embark on a spirited campaign to attack and isolate some of Sadtu leaders and the union itself”.
The NEC reiterated that it had no regrets about implementing a mandate from its members, the owners of the union.
It also took the decision to compel the Department of Higher Education and Training to extend and implement the policy as declared by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) on wages to all CET employees.
CET employees worked under precarious conditions and had every right to the increase, the union said.
The NEC further resolved to demand that Grade R practitioners’ salaries also be increased, in line with the policy as declared by the DPSA in 2022/23 financial year.
The NEC is demanding that the start of negotiations for 2023/24, in order to influence the Budget to be presented in February 2023. This is under the previous declarations by the PSCBC summits that the Budget must be informed by the demands of the workers as based on the cost of living.
Sadtu said it wanted the next round of negotiations to be opened urgently, to secure a baseline increase that would address the cost-of-living crisis caused by the global economic crisis.
To that end, the NEC said it would seek a mandate from its members and urgently consolidate the demands for presentation to the chamber.
The NEC expressed gratitude to all those who worked in education, especially teachers who sacrificed their family time, including afternoons, evenings, weekends and holidays.
“The NEC wishes to extend thanks and appreciation to their families for supporting them as they did the best they could under very difficult circumstances. They are being verbally abused, ostracised, physically attacked and murdered for doing their work. These nation builders deserve our support and love,” the union said.