FS Education Department refuses to pay increases to clerks this year

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Leader in the Free State

The Free State Department of Education is currently in negotiations not to pay R47.5 million due in salary increases to clerks in the education department. This is unfair. Clerks take up a core function in the delivery of services to our children. They work long and hard hours.

The MEC for Finance, Elzabe Rockman, has revealed during the provincial adjustment budget proceedings that R99 million has been made available for the re-grading of clerks as directed by the National Department of Public Service and Administration. These funds were made available by the National Treasury exclusively for this purpose.

Many of the clerks are young people that are entirely dependent on this income for their survival. We should reward people who want to participate in educating our children.

The current approach in unfair. Government employees in the higher pay grades are assured bonuses, salary increases and promotions. Yet employees at the lower pay grades, like the clerks, are exploited and left unrewarded.

We will be asking questions in the Free State Provincial Legislature to determine what happened to the money allocated for increasing the salaries of clerks, and why the funds were not used for its intended purpose.

Clerks in government departments deserve to have their salary grades adjusted with everyone else. The money has been made available exclusively for this purpose. MEC Rockman must clarify why the funds are no longer available.