Union describes education budget as 'simplistic'

The education minister’s budget was called “simplistic” by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) on Friday, following the budget speech in Parliament on Thursday.

“Sadtu wishes to express its concern at the simplistic nature of the education minister’s budget speech to Parliament,” said Thulas Nxesi, general secretary of the union.

“The impression was conveyed that the matter of OSD [occupation-specific dispensation] for educators was now signed, sealed and delivered, and that quality education would spring forth as surely as night follows day. If only it was so simple,” he said.

Nxesi said the agreement on OSD reached between the employer and the unions in the ELRC (Education Labour Relations Council) on April 3 specified an across-the-board salary adjustment of not less than 4% backdated to January 1 2008.

In addition, all outstanding issues regarding the OSD had to be referred to a further process of research and negotiation to be finalised by June 30 2008.

“In other words, this is largely a framework agreement, with the details still to be agreed, and of course experience tells us that the devil is in the detail,” he said.

“The union also needs to register its disappointment that after nearly two months, the Dpartment of Education has still not implemented the agreed 4% OSD.

“Moreover, despite numerous requests from the unions, the department seems unable to give a date for implementation,” said Nxesi.—Sapa

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