Aug 10, 2010 10:00 PM | By CHARL DU PLESSIS
A white Cape Town teacher, on strike for the first time in her 18-year career, said yesterday she was doing it for the "future of the children".
Embarrassed to reveal how much money she takes home each month, the Grade 7 teacher who asked to be referred to as Laurika, said: "If government thinks an 8.6% increase for teachers is too much, then there is very little hope for the children".
She said that white teachers, known for not participating in strike action, were joining in droves as they felt teachers "came last" when salary increases were dished out.
"A corporal in the army, with no university education, gets only a couple of hundred rand less than me – a teacher with 18 years' experience, four years of university training and a further 18 educational courses."
Naptosa spokesman Ezrah Ramasehla said somebody with 18 to 25 years' experience would probably be earning between R9000 and R11000 a month after deductions.
Laurika said most South Africans did not appreciate how hard teachers worked.
"We don't just work until school closes at a quarter to three, we work on holidays and weekends. This past [Woman's Day] I was sitting marking learners' books," she said.
"It's ridiculous. We don't want to be rich. We just want to be able to live better. Luckily, I have a husband who can help out, but I feel sorry for single teachers who can't even afford a house."
Laurika, who had just snapped pictures of herself and two colleagues among the toyi-toyi-ing crowd, said her first march was "quite exciting".
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