SADTU Criticizes Payment Conditions Of Grade R Teachers

SADTU

South African Democratic Teachers Union has expressed its discontent with the current payment arrangements for Grade R practitioners. The Union said while it celebrates that public servants have received their non-pensionable cash gratuity, this has not been the case for Grade R practitioners.

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SADTU's National Executive Committee has raised concerns about the way in which payments for Grade R practitioners are structured. The comes after it was revealed that Grade R practitioners have not received their cash gratuity or any form of increase, despite that the fact other public servants were paid.

In a statement issued on Sunday, The NEC said that Grade R practitioners play a crucial role in the country's education and thus should be treated as such.

Grade R practitioners play a critical role in building a concrete foundation in children’s education but are treated with disdain by the employer. There is no uniformity in the conditions of service of Grade R practitioners as these are decided at the provincial level.

The Union's NEC also states that these practitioners are paid stipends by the school governing body as opposed to receiving full salaries. Furthermore, according to the NEC, Grade R practitioners in the Western Cape are paid by schools and not PERSAL.

SADTU says this makes the practitioners more vulnerable, as schools prioritize their needs first before paying these critical and essential workers’ salaries.

This cannot be allowed to continue because if we talk of equal pay for equal work and equal qualification, the Grade R practitioners are still not.

The NEC also noted that Grade R practitioners were being treated unfairly by not being included in negotiations at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).

The NEC added that even though they are not part of formal structures. Grade R practitioners should not be subjected to discrimination because they are public servants in the education sector.

The NEC further resolved to continue the matter to the Education Labour Relations Council and advocate for a binding agreement to have the salaries of Grade R practitioners paid through PERSAL.

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