Teachers to get docked pay - then lose it again

27 January 2012 - 02:30
By Sapa

All KwaZulu-Natal teachers whose salaries were docked after the 2010 public-servants' strike might get the money back as early as next week, the province's education department said yesterday.

"We will do that because we want to comply with the court order," the head of the department, Nkosinathi Sishi, said.

The Supreme Court of Appeal recently ruled in favour of National Teachers' Union members who objected to their salaries being docked after the public-servants' strike in 2010. The court ruled that the way in which pay was docked was irregular and ordered the department to repay the teachers.

The department, however, intends to deduct money from salaries again after it has complied with the court order.

"We will deduct it after having followed the procedure," said Sishi.

"We'll tell teachers what we will do before we do it. They will be properly notified. We will follow the correct process."

The KwaZulu-Natal executive council said in September that the department had deducted R144728621 from the salaries of 80782 employees.

When this statement was released, the government had docked R160-million from public servants who had gone on strike.

The National Teachers' Union took the KwaZulu-Natal education department to court last year over the docking of the salaries of 27000 of its members, arguing that they had not taken part in the strike.

The Durban Labour Court last year ruled in the union's favour.

The union wants the department to repay R23-million plus interest to the teachers.

The SA Democratic Teachers' Union's provincial secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said his union had notified the department of its intention to challenge the docking of salaries in court.