Employer tough nut to crack, Strike looms!

28 July 2010

SADTU, the biggest teachers union in South Africa boasting a 245 000 membership, to down tools for a better wage offer.

The National Executive Committee of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has resolved to embark on a strike. This decision was taken at a special NEC held in Johannesburg yesterday (27 July 2010) after the provincial leaders presented mandates from their constituencies.

All the provinces overwhelmingly rejected the offer by the employer and showed strong support for the strike.

SADTU will, from today, dispatch ballot papers to all the provinces for each member to vote on the strike. The balloting process will be completed by 6 August.

The Union will be serving a notice to the employer today wherein the employer has seven days to better the offer in order to avert the strike.

We will present our decision to the Joint Mandating Committee of all the Cosatu affiliated public service unions and urge them to join the strike. The decision to strike comes after the State as employer refused to improve on its 6, 5% salary increase, offered to increase the housing subsidy by a mere R120 from R500 to R620 per month. Such a meagre increase would mean that teachers would never afford decent homes, let alone survive in the midst of fuel, electricity and municipal service hikes.

SADTU, together with COSATU affiliated unions, are demanding an 8,6% salary increase, R 1 000 housing allowance, equalization of medical aid subsidy and the implementation date for the increase to be the 1st of April.

The employer has offered the 1st of July as the implementation date and want to subject the issue of medical aid subsidy to a process of research beyond this current round of negotiations.

The decision to embark on the strike was not taken lightly by SADTU members. The plight of our members is desperate.

The strike should earnestly after the completion of the balloting process. process. A march to the Union Buildings will be one of several forms of industrial action the Union will resort to.

We are aware that the strike will affect schooling. We have called upon our members to ensure that they do not join the PSA on their planned march until the leadership announce the date for action. We are calling upon our members to engage parents on the strike and the recovery programmes.

We further expect our members to continue teaching and assisting learners until the date of the strike is announced after the ballot process as prescribed by the SADTU constitution. We must however, reiterate our position that we tried our best to avert the strike and find an amicable solution.

We committed ourselves to being available to engage with the employer for 24 hours and seven days a week but our pleas were not taken seriously.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat