Workers back on duty

2017-06-21 06:02
Olly Mlamleli, mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality.Photo: Teboho Setena

Olly Mlamleli, mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality.Photo: Teboho Setena

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Service delivery in the greater Mangaung Metro Municipality is yet to return to its usual standard despite employees who have been on strike returning to duty.

Service delivery was hampered due to a month-long strike by employees affiliated with the South African Muni­cipal Workers Union (Samwu).

Employees reported for work on Monday (19/06) upon receiving an interim court interdict declaring the strike unprotected, compelling the workers to return to work.

The union has until 18 August to challenge the interim court interdict obtained by their employer. At a media conference held last Wednesday (14/06), Olly Mlamleli, Mangaung mayor, stated that the legal route was the last resort against suspected threats, theft of the municipality’s assets and various other illegal activities by striking workers. The union has since denied the allegations of threats and illegal activities.

Pule Molalenyane, president of Samwu, has assured the community that all union members will be out in full force at their work stations.

He said the reason members did not report for duty last week was due to consultations to brief members after an interim court interdict was issued against the union.

Express has reliably learnt that, besides the interim court interdict, employees returned to work after the employer, the Mangaung Metro, tabled a revised offer.

It is understood that the union and the city council representatives were likely to seal a deal this week to permanently end the strike.

The two parties were due to meet on Tuesday (20/06) to iron out certain issues regarded as a bone of contention. If agreement is reached, they will sign an agreement to end the strike permanently.

According to the revised offer, the employer has agreed to employ temporary workers permanently and increase salaries of all the workers by R2 500, as opposed to the R3 000 the union demanded.

Other grievances the workers raised in the memorandum of demands presented on 16 May will be addressed later.

Apparently, one of the bones of contention is the once-off payment in back payment of R40 000 to qualifying workers.

The amount in question dates back from 2011, when the Mangaung Municipality was upgraded to a metro, with Thabo Manyoni as the inaugural mayor.

Express has reliably learnt that the workers have mandated the union to accept the revised offer on the condition that the city council authority sign an agreement at the Local Labour Forum (LLF), citing a lack of trust.

At the conference on last Wednesday, Mlamleli said the city council has agreed to a 7,3% salary hike for the current financial year, 2017-’18, adding that this was in terms of a task job evaluation process that was agreed upon at the LLF. Mlamleli said a budget has been allocated for salaries.

“We knew there is this process of job evaluation. It would have been wrong of us not to have budgeted for a salary increase of employees, which must be effective upon completion of the job evaluation process,” said Mlamleli.

“The internal leg of the task job evaluation has been completed, a total of 1 034 job descriptions have been developed and submitted to the South African Local Government Association (Salga) on 1 June 2017 for auditing. Once the process of auditing has been completed by Salga, it will allow the municipality to migrate to task job evaluation and the new salaries will by then be paid,” said Mlamleli.

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