‘We’ll accept’, says Sadtu firebrand

One of Sadtu’s most militant leaders, Ronald Nyathi, has indicated that the teacher’s strike could be soon be over because his region has accepted the state’s revised wage offer.

On Monday Nyathi, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union regional secretary for Gauteng, told M&G Education that his region had voted to accept government revised offer.

“Members were disappointed by the offer but after having it explained to them they decided to accept,” he said.

“We are the biggest [Sadtu] region, and I think it can be fair to say that we were sustaining the strike action by teachers.”

Nyathi said that the members were “down and out” but could not point to what had brought about the change in their response to the offer.

“I have received SMSs from the other regions suggesting they have rejected the offer, but my feeling is that once the other regions see that we are demobilising they will fall in to line and accept as well.”

Public service unions last week rejected government’s revised wage offer of a 7,5% salary increase and an R800 housing allowance. This saw the strike entering its fourth week on Monday, with education and health services worst affected.

Sadtu president Thobile Ntuli refused to comment on whether the various regions of the country’s largest teachers’ union has accepted the offer.

He told M&G Education: “Consultations are under way and we are waiting for reports from the regions.”

“We will meet with the Independent Labour Caucus and together we will make our position known this [Monday] afternoon.”

Ezrah Ramasehla, president of the National Professional Teachers’ Association of South Africa, said that his union was still in favour of accepting the offer, while Chris Klopper, of the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysesunie, said his union would only make their position on the offer known on Monday afternoon.

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