The strike is suspended

6 September 2010

The South African Democratic Teachers Union has called on its members to report to work as from tomorrow and we hope that by Wednesday there will be normality. This call has come after the COSATU-aligned Public Sector Unions and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) issued a joint statement announcing the suspension of the strike.

We would like to commend our members for their resolve, commitment and sacrifice which forced the employer to shift from their original offer. The employer’s change of heart didn’t come through its goodwill but as a result of the gallant fight of workers. It should be clear that SADTU still has the power and strength to fight on.

Whereas we suspended the strike, we would like to record the following improvements as a result of the strike:

  • That the employer was forced to reopen negotiations after having signed and wanted to declare policy. The employer eventually succumbed to pressure and restored the negotiations. This is historic in the public service collective bargaining.
  • The employer budgeted for 5.2% in the current financial year for salary adjustment. Workers and the people of South Africa pushed the employer to revise the offer by 44% to 7.5%. Workers forced the following concessions: 5,3%, 5,7%, 6%, 6,2%, 6,5% and 7%. The final concession was from 7% to 7,5% and the reopening of negotiations.
  • The employer had initially refused to negotiate housing allowance for the current financial year but workers have forced government to concede and increased the current housing allowance by 60% to R800 and agreeing to conclude all matters related to universal home ownership by 31st March 2011 for implementation 1st April 2011.
  • The employer had refused to open negotiations on medical aid equalisation at the beginning of negotiations but as pressure mounted from the workers and the people of our country they conceded and agreed to put a definite process to resolve the matter by 31st December 2010.
  • The employer has finally succumbed to pressure by reintroducing the 1st April as an implementation date to be phased in from 1st May 2011, and thereby to realign the bargaining processes with Government’s budgetary processes.
  • We finally forced the state to appoint the Essential Service Committee to finalise a minimum service agreement for essential services.

We also would like to express our sincere gratitude to the learners in particular COSAS, parents, religious leaders and communities for appreciating the plight of teachers and all public servants and providing support during these trying times.

The immediate task at hand would be to assist all our learners from Grade R to Grade 12 to prepare for the examinations. We further encourage the learners to continue with the study groups they established during the strike while accessing optimal support from the teachers.

The suspension of the strike does not mean we have accepted or signed the offer. We are going to continue pursuing the demands as mandated by our members.

Issued by: SADTU Secretariat