Home News CBC workers protest over salaries, discrimination

CBC workers protest over salaries, discrimination

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Protest action by the staff at Kimberley’s CBC is still ongoing as the school’s management has not yet responded to a list of demands that was handed over to the principal on Wednesday morning.

THE PROTEST action by staff members at Kimberley’s CBC is still ongoing as the school’s management has not yet responded to a list of demands that was handed over to the principal on Wednesday morning.

Staff members have been participating in a legal strike since Monday, demanding better salaries and an end to discrimination.

They include teachers, assistant teachers, cleaners, aftercare workers and maintenance workers.

According to staff members they have been asking for a salary increase for several years, however, the school continues to tell them that there is no money.

They stated that parents pay a lot of money in school fees while the work has increased over the last three years due to an increase in the number of learners.

They complained that some of them have been working at CBC for over 30 years, but still earn below R10,000.

Among those who have been working at the school for several years include staff members who will be going on retirement in less than five years.

They are concerned about their retirement packages.

On Friday, May 20, staff members were locked out of the school after the school learned of their intention to strike.

They said about 30 of them, who belong to the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (Napsu), were told to take their belongings and leave the school premises.

A few of them were apparently threatened to immediately resign from the union in order for them to get their salaries.

The members continued to peacefully picket in front of the gate, as the school refused to engage with them.

On Wednesday, protesting members apparently discovered that between R2,000 and R2,700 was missing from their salaries.

One of the teachers, Maria Fish, who is also the shop steward of Napsu, said the school is making every effort to block their progress at work.

“We are not complaining about our work because we are passionate and love working with children. All we want is to be treated in the same manner as other workers.

“When there are posts available, we are usually either underqualified or overqualified for promotional posts with better salaries. Most of us studied further but we do not get the remuneration as some of our counterparts,” Fish said.

She accused the school of lying when it claimed that there was no money when the number of learners in the class nearly doubled from 15 to 25.

“When the parents get delayed to collect the children they pay a fine while we are expected to wait with the children until they are collected.”

The provincial organiser of Napsu, Brian Moody, accused the school of being “racist, evil and provoking”.

He accused the employer of taking the workers’ money regardless of the fact that they were fighting for better salaries.

At the time of going to print the school had not responded and management was locked in meetings.

About 30 CBC staff members embarked on protest action outside the school premises on Monday. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Sarah Johnson and Lizzie Bojosi have been employed at CBC for 26 and 38 years respectively as cleaners. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Union members protested outside CBC. Pictures: Soraya Crowie

Video: Soraya Crowie

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