'Raise teachers’ salaries as an incentive'

Sadtu says salaries needed to be reviewed to make the profession more attractive.

File picture: Students at Umyezo Wama Apile Combined School in Grabouw. Picture: Janine Willemans/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Democratic Teacher's Union (Sadtu) on Monday said salaries needed to be reviewed to make the profession more attractive to those entering the job market for the first time.

The ANC's national conference in Mangaung last December decided to appoint a presidential commission that would look into the salaries and conditions of employment of teachers and health professionals.

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the idea to review teachers' salaries was a good one.

"Teachers' salaries are so low."

He said it had always been a big "irritation" to have teachers going on strike "from time to time, demanding better salaries".

He said the teachers' union struggled to get young, talented educators into the public sector because salaries should be three times higher than what they were.

Maluleke said the Occupation Specific Dispensation, a programme meant to bring teachers' salaries up to standard, had not done enough to rectify the situation.

Teachers were also told at the Mangaung conference that school inspectors would be re-introduced into schools - whether they liked it or not.

But Sadtu is not in favour of the idea.

Maluleke said that although teachers were willing to find ways to be more accountable, school inspectors should not be allowed back.

"School inspectors are the ones that destroyed professionalism in our education system. They were [like] police."

The ANC also wants an audit done to ensure teachers teach subjects aligned to their skills.