Selective payout angers city staff

2010-07-27 00:00

SELECTIVE treatment has found its way into the corridors of the Msunduzi Municipality and it does not sit well with some employees.

Yesterday, The Witness discovered that some municipal employees have been paid their annual wage and salary increases while others have not.

The anomaly comes after workers were told their annual increments, which were meant to kick in from this month, will be postponed indefinitely because the cash-strapped municipality cannot afford to pay them yet.

Workers who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity said that while it is bad enough that they did not get their annual increases, the situation is worsened now that “a select few” have received their increased benefits even thought they all belong to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).

Some workers said they have no problem with some increases being paid out this weekend as it is the first step in getting the increments paid out across the board.

However, others said they do not take kindly to being left out and their union must handle the matter and report back to them by the end of the week.

Last week, rumours were doing the rounds that the municipality is going to give lower-paid workers their increases to avoid threatened strike action.

When The Witness asked marketing and communications manager Brian Zuma to comment on the issue, and to indicate which band of workers are likely to get their wage increases, he said the administrator, Johann Mellter, and Mayor Mike Tarr have held consultative meetings with the workers, “wherein the issue of salaries was explained and discussed”.

“If there are going to be any new developments, again a process of consultation with the workers will unfold.”

However, The Witness has established that no further consultations have taken place since this response was received and employees graded A1 received their increases at the weekend.

Samwu’s provincial chairperson, John Dlamini, said they are shocked at the manner in which the increases have been handled because they are calling for a collective agreement that will benefit all workers and not just a select few.

Dlamini added, “They can’t implement the agreement selectively because it’s causing conflict and fights among workers …”

He said the union was not consulted about the matter, but it will raise it at today’s local labour forum where it is to meet the employers.

Dlamini said workers from the uMngeni Municipality met their employers yesterday to iron out issues relating to the implementation of wage curves, car allowances for senior managers and encashment of leave.

He said further meetings are to be held because there is still some unhappiness over yesterday’s meeting.

 

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