SADTU Limpopo Media statement on the non-payment of salaries of Temporary Teachers

20 August 2016

To: All Media Houses

"The buck stops here........"

It is with greatest disappointment and concern to realise that teachers and schools still experience the worst treatment by the Limpopo Department of Education to an extent that more than 205 temporary teachers have not been paid since April 2016. It is unthinkable, at this time of democracy in South Africa that teachers are subjected to this bad and unfair labour practice and are still expected to deliver quality public education whilst the department treats them as not worthy of human beings.

The reasons advanced by departmental officials for their failure to pay temporary teachers for more than five months are unacceptable. They (LDoE) are blaming this anomaly to the implementation of Instruction Note 7 from Treasury that deals with control of escalating compensation of employees and control measures in effecting appointments.

The union`s stance is that no instruction should lead to non-payment of salaries of employees for several months in an attempt to control budgets. This leads to an unfortunate consequence of children being left behind the desks in the classroom without a teacher. We view this as an "extreme insensitivity" towards human beings and lacks commitment to ensure improved learner performance.

The instructions from Provincial Treasury to the Department of Education have created the following frustrations amongst teachers and schools:

  • Temporary teachers not being paid for more than five months to date
  • Vacancies in schools for maternity leaves; substitute educators and promotional posts not being filled, to the effect that "learners are now sitting behind the desk without teachers"

This is a result of stringent procedures that must be followed to have school posts filled. According to the said backward; insensitive and not realistic instructions; schools must apply and receive more than three approvals from Provincial Treasury and department before a post can be filled. The situation has left schools without teachers and created extra burden to existing personnel / teachers in schools.

The children are ultimately the ones affected as this leads to inadequate and inefficient poor teaching and learning.

It is our conviction that the person who issued these instructions is definitely clueless about schooling and has a limited concern / understanding of education system.

The Limpopo Department of Education has failed in their duty, upon receiving these instructions, to develop proper norms and standard (Procedures and time frames) to regulate implementation of such instructions so that teachers and
schools are not adversely affected.

The following are further frustrations experienced by teachers and schools:

  • Most teachers have not been paid their housing allowance as agreed in the PSCBC last year
  • Schools cannot promptly fill vacant posts created as a result of maternity leaves; promotions etc
  • IQMS / PMD not paid
  • Teachers acting in promotional posts are not paid "Acting allowances"
  • Teachers are burdened with administrative work because of departmental failure to fill Principals; Deputy Principals and Heads of Departments. This situation has compromised effective teaching and learning with the effects of poor learner`s performance at the end of the year.

The Special Provincial Executive Committee meeting of the union held on 17 August 2016 has resolved on the following to respond to the above mentioned challenges:

  • All temporary educators must be paid on or before 23 August 2016, failure to adhere to this resolution will result in the following actions.
  • Declare formal dispute against Department of Education and follow all legal recourse available
  • The union will immediately start with picketing and protest action with withdrawal of labour (Strike) as the ultimate option
  • All teachers and members of SADTU are encouraged not to perform any duty beyond their job description and duties allocated to their posts. Duties allocated to vacant posts must be left unattended with immediate effect to relieve teachers from the burden of performing duties for other people.

SADTU is currently in talks with other COSATU affiliated Public Service Unions affected by these austerity measures from Provincial Treasury that may lead to a complete total shut-down of public service. We urge the Department and Office of the Premier to address these austerity measures with immediate effect.

Prepared by SADTU Limpopo Province Secretariat

Raphasha Matome (Provincial Secretary: 082 804 0800)
Tjebane Sowell (Provincial Deputy Secretary: 082 808 3161)