Teacher strike looms

The threat of strike action by 1,3-million civil servants– including teachers — seems unavoidable after labour unions rejected the employer’s “revised offer” last week.

The state has called another meeting with labour but a source within one of the largest teacher unions indicated they would not attend. While the strike would affect delivery of services in health and safety and security, education would be hard hit as it is the grade 12 learners who will suffer the most as they have less than two months before their final examination.

Ezra Ramasehla, president of National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa (Naptosa), told the Teacher all teacher unions were ready to down tools after they received mandates from their constituencies.

Ramasehla said after the state failed to improve its wage offer unions decided to serve notice to the state about their intention to strike during the second week of this month. By law, a notice for strike action should be lodged with the employer seven days before employees down tools.

At the heart of the dispute is labour’s demand for an 8,6% wage increase; a R1 000 housing subsidy; and the equalisation of subsidies for medical aid as opposed to the state’s 6,5% wage offer.


The parties held another meeting in the last week of July but still could not sign a deal after the state offered a R20 increase on the current R620 monthly housing subsidy and failed to budge on the wage increase and medical aid subsidy.

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said government could not afford to meet labour’s wage demands because this would push the salary bill way above what the state has budgeted for. The state has budgeted R11,2-billion for salary increases and R845-million in housing allowances.

If the employer accedes to labour’s demands, it is projected it would spend R17-billion on salary increases alone and R3,5-billion for housing allowances.

The feeling within civil servant workers is that there is no reason why the state cannot meet their demands as it set a precedent by offering a 10% wage increase to other unions such as the South Africa Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and Solidarity, which organise within the state-owned enterprises.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Thabo Mohlala
Guest Author

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

More top stories

State rejects pyramid-schemer’s plea: ‘I stole the money, and plead...

The state has rejected fraudster Roderick Cole-Edwards’ guilty plea for R11.6-million pyramid-scheme theft

Hot topic: Is crypto’s climate cost higher than its value?

The recent blockchain boom has been followed by concerns over its impact on the environment

The plight of the ‘missing middle’ is no joke, Nzimande

Parents who, on paper, look like they can afford to pay their children’s university fees often can’t. They also miss out on funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

More ethnically diverse bone marrow donors needed to save lives

The myth that regenerative stem cells are body parts has led to donor reluctance
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…