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'Cosatu will reject ban on teachers’ strikes'

Cosatu says it will reject a proposal by the ANC to declare education an essential service.

Cosatu says it will reject a proposal by the ANC to declare education an essential service and ban teachers from going on strike. Picture:Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union federation Cosatu on Monday said it would reject a proposal that education be declared an essential service, meaning teachers will not be allowed to go on strike.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) made the decision to adopt the proposal at its lekgotla in Irene last week.

Congress of South African Trade Unions president S'dumo Dlamini, who is also a member of the NEC, said the matter was still being discussed and that a final decision had not yet been taken.

He said denying teachers the right to strike when they had grievances would go against international labour laws.

Dlamini said if it did go ahead, the federation would oppose the move.

Meanwhile, the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said the declaration would not help solve any of the major problems in the education sector.

The ANC is expected to speak about the outcomes of its NEC meeting later today.