A group of disgruntled teachers from Hewu village schools in the Whittlesea area lodged a complaint to the Chris Hani West education department district director this week.
This follows claims that a rural allowance grant for teachers was discontinued without any communication from the department.
One of the teachers, who did not want to be identified, told The Rep that a meeting was called last week to discuss ways to address the matter. The teachers, as stated in the letter to the district director, sought a refund and the reinstatement of the rural allowance grant which, they claim, was illegally stopped by the department last month.
“Firstly, in terms of section 186(2) of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 as amended in 2002, this is an unfair labour practice. Secondly, in terms of administrative justice you, the district accounting officer, should have furnished us with reasons for your decision before implementing it. Our right to fair administrative justice has been denied by your office. Our lifestyle has been adversely affected by your unilateral decision,” read the letter.
The teacher added: “This is money we have been receiving since 2014 and we had budgeted for it. The strange part is that some teachers at neighbouring schools received their allowances. So what criteria do they use? This is unfair and we are confused.” According to the letter, the department was given seven days to respond.
Education provincial spokesperson, Malibongwe Mtima, said the rural allowance grant depended on the availability of funds. “We have reworked it in the province and more than 7 000 educators are beneficiaries. We have looked at the issue of distance and other factors in relation to the matter. We will look into the dispute or the complaint made by the educators with the hope that the policies involved are well understood by all parties.”