Govt workers want their manager out

2014-05-23 00:00

EMPLOYEES at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism are gearing up for a showdown with their management as they push to oust their head of department.

On Wednesday, employees at the head offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street downed tools and protested inside the office’s main entrance, with their demonstration continuing again yesterday morning.

The demonstrations were temporarily suspended in anticipation of a meeting scheduled with management today.

Dressed in the red of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), about 100 employees demonstrated inside the main gate of the offices, shouting slogans with placards detailing their grievances.

The employees accuse a senior staff member of running the department like a spaza shop. About 300 employees work at the office in Jabu Ndlovu Street.

Zimasile Giyama, regional secretary of Nehawu, said employees wanted the manager removed because he had failed to run the department effectively.

“This [manager] has been making decisions that affect the lives of the employees unilaterally without any consultation with employees or the union. You cannot take decisions about us without us,” he said.

He said chief among the complaints was restructuring. “One general manager has been ordered to report to another general manager; they are on the same level … It’s like a demotion.

“Staff members are just transferred unilaterally; they are sent from here to there without any consultation,” he said.

Another issue was the monitoring of the workers’ performances. He said only people on senior management have had their performance assessed, but none of the staff had been through performance appraisal, which meant they would not be considered for increases.

He said another problem was the mistreatment of some of the senior managers by the manager. “We want him removed … He wakes up one morning and decides to do things without any consultation. He does not care about the staff or even the customers. He knew from 9 am that we would be doing this [protesting] but what did he do?”

A service provider who declined to give his name said he left in frustration after going to the offices only to find them in a lockdown. “They have not been working since 9 am. We cannot go in and customers cannot go in.”

A source at the department said they would know today what further action they might take. A department spokesperson said he would get back to the paper with a comment, but failed to do so.

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