KZN teachers win battle over docked salaries

The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of teachers who objected to their salaries being docked after the public servants’ strike in 2010.

“The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Natu by confirming the decisions that were taken by other lower courts of law,” National Teachers’ Union (Natu) spokesperson Allen Thompson said on Thursday.

Natu took the KwaZulu-Natal education department to court last year over the docking of the salaries of 27 000 teachers, who it argued had not taken part in the strike.

The Durban Labour Court last year ruled in favour of the teachers and the department appealed the decision.

Thompson said the union felt vindicated by the court ruling, saying it confirmed the independence of the justice system and the protection of the working class.

He said his union wanted the department to pay back R23-million plus interest to the teachers.

“The department will now have to pay at least R50 million which includes the 15.5% interest backdated to March 2011.”

The affected teachers would also be exempted from paying tax when the department reimbursed them, Thompson said.

The Durban Labour Court last year ruled that the department had to exempt all the affected teachers from paying tax in all the refunds.

The department was not immediately available to comment. — Sapa

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