Newspaper clipping – iol on line – 13 July 2009

Sadtu welcomes OSD offer

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday said it was happy with the government’s latest occupation specific dispensation (OSD) offer. “We agree as a province with the draft agreement because it benefits a lot of teachers who were regarded as under-qualified. These teachers were earning a minimum of R50 000 and they are now going to earn a minimum of R95 000 per annum,” said Sadtu provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi at a media briefing in Durban.

Government tabled the offer to teachers last Friday. This was after government’s OSD for health practitioners was rejected resulting in thousands of doctors embarking on an illegal strike in June.

Mathonsi said they were happy with the offer because it recognized teachers’ experience. Teachers would be recognized for every three years they had served and a one percent increment would be added to their salaries, he said. “We are also happy that workers will get salary progression of three percent.”

The union was, however, not happy that clerks and security guards employed by the department of education were excluded from the offer.

Mathonsi said salary negotiations for teachers would start very soon. “Our position is clear on the issue of salaries. We want 15 percent and we want the entry-level salary for teachers to be R180 000 per year excluding benefits such as medical aid and housing. This can be phased in over a period of time.”

He said they had asked government to employ someone to look at the issue of teachers’ salaries.  “We want that person to finish the issue of salary structures by 30 November. I would like to say that we are pleased with the attitude of the employer so far.”

An entry level teacher currently earns around R118 000 per year - Sapa

Nottingham said her organization focused on showing others how to develop the gardens instead of doing everything themselves. She added that her wish is for corporate organizations to adopt a school and introduce similar projects in other disadvantaged schools.