Teachers angered by pay bungle

Payroll glitch leaves a number out of pocket

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Dozens of East London grade R contract teachers were not paid their April salaries after an administration bungle by workers of the department of education’s payroll section.
Eastern Cape provincial education department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima on Sunday said late submissions and capturing of new contracts into a new payment system had led to delays in the paying of salaries to teachers.
Mtima said this had only affected those whose were under the East London education district office in Mdantsane.
He said: “A meeting was held between representatives of the affected parties and our district officials and indeed we have committed to pay the salaries this week. This was due to slight delays.”
The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary, Chris Mdingi, confirmed the department’s commitment to pay the salaries.
Mdingi said some grade R teachers had not been paid. “It was a sizeable number of teachers, particularly those who were supposed to renew contracts.”
Mdingi and Mtima could not give the number of teachers affected by the pay bungle.
“A lot of Grade R teachers are contract workers, because some are still training to become fully qualified teachers. Some had their contracts recently renewed. But because new contracts were not captured into the system, the system registered them as terminated employees.
“That is how it happened. A computer is fed by people. A lot of people think a computer can do everything on its own,” Mdingi said.
The teachers have vowed to boycott the elections if their salaries were not paid.
“The government always talks about building a solid foundation for grade 12s by focusing their resources and energy on grade R learning and teaching, yet they do this to us,” complained Mfunulwazi Primary School teacher Lali Nogaga on Sunday.
Nogaga said: “We are not voting in the elections if our salaries are not paid. We cannot carry on as if things are normal and put a government in power that does not care about us.”
Nogaga said she was part of a group of teachers who were planning to “storm” the department of education’s district offices in Mdantsane on Monday to seek answers.
Phandulwazi Primary school teacher Nokhanyo Mbaliso said: “This rubs salt in the wound, as I have been waiting for a permanent contract for years.”
More than 50 teachers were in her predicament...

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