Sadtu and Nehawu strike enters it’s sixth week

The month-long Sadtu and Nehawu strike action came to a head last Wednesday as teachers and administration staff of the unions participated in a mass protest action, marching from the AJ Swanepoel Stadium to hand over a memorandum at the Department of Education district offices.

This is just one of two mass protests in the province, one which has seen township schools closing early as teachers act in solidarity with the administration staff.
The unions are protesting over the placing of a moratorium on the filling of vacant posts and the reduction of the budget, which sees the operating budget at 0 per cent.

“More than 1 200 administration posts are vacant and when a teacher retires or resigns, that post is abolished, meaning our work force is overloaded with work with no budget to work with,” said regional Sadtu chairman Smanga Msomi.

The unions handed over memorandums with a list of demands that included the employer lifting the moratorium on the filling of posts and restoring the organogram of the department, the department of education ensuring that all schools have general workers and clerical staff and to immediately inform the Director-General to rescind the instruction to abolish funded posts.

The departmental Deputy Director of Labour, Mr Jabhi Skhosana, received and signed the memorandum on behalf of the Premier of Mpumalanga, Mr D.D. Mabuza.

“The strike action will continue until our demands are met. Teachers who are invigilating the exams that are currently underway, will be excused, as it is important that the learners write their exams,” said Gert Sibande District Sadtu secretary Mcalisi Mkhwanazi.

The unions are going on a provincial mass strike this week in Mbombela, where they will march to the Premiers office to hand over another memorandum.

Amanda Mthembu

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