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Labour Court stops FS payments

2010-03-25 21:07

Bloemfontein - The Labour Court's decision to nullify the selectively payment of cash bonuses in three Free State government departments was welcomed by the Public Servants' Association of SA (PSA) provincial branch on Thursday.

PSA Free State manager Gerhard Koorts said the Labour Court had quashed decisions by three Free State MECs to selectively pay cash bonuses to employees in the departments of education, health and former department of public safety and transport.

"This was set to impact on all state departments," Koorts said in a statement.

The Labour Court judgment, made earlier this month, set aside the decisions to selectively implement the payment of cash bonuses in term of the Performance and Development Management System (PDMS) for the 2007/2008 financial year.

Koorts said the ruling was appreciated.

"In its report on grievance trends in the public service for the periods April 2006 to 31 March 2008, one of the main findings of the Public Service Commission was that performance assessments matters were the major cause for dissatisfaction amongst employees."

He said PSA had, in this regard, continuously objected to the incorrect application of the PDMS by the Free State administration.

Labour Court

Koorts said the department of the premier, who should oversee the correct implementation of the system, had failed "admirably in its duty" to correct the situation.

"We were thus forced to take the matter to the Labour Court."

Koorts said the union claimed in court that the decisions by the three MECs regarding the PDMS, were not contemplated by the terms of the system and were "arbitrary, irrational and capricious".

The Labour Court agreed with the PSA's view and held that the MECs' decisions should be reviewed and set aside.

Koorts said the Labour Court also held that the MECs' arguments that the PDMS was merely a guideline and that their conduct was exempted from scrutiny because the PDMS was not binding on parties, was incorrect.