Negotiations continue between Pikitup and City of Johannesburg

2016-04-10 19:02
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Pretoria – Pikitup workers were due to resume their duties on Sunday evening even as negotiations were set to continue between the City of Johannesburg and the waste collection company following a mutual agreement to bring an end to the strike.

“Under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration [CCMA], the SA Municipal Workers Union [Samwu], Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg reached an agreement yesterday [Saturday] to end the unprotected strike which commenced on March 9 2016,” said spokesperson, Jacky Mashapu, in a statement.

“Employees will return to work immediately and there will be an end to all acts of intimidation and violence, victimisation and harassment. Pikitup will make a once-off payment of R750 to all Grade A and B workers and this will be taken into account in the further negotiations which will commence on April 11 and conclude on April 13 2016, under the auspices of the CCMA.”

Mashapu said in the event that an agreement could not be reached, the parties would consider referring the dispute to mutual interest arbitration or, alternatively, the parties would advise each other of the steps they would pursue in exercising their rights, taking into consideration the extent of the agreement.

Samwu members embarked on an unprotected strike about a month ago, demanding a minimum salary of between R9 000 and R10 000. About 4 000 workers, affiliated to Samwu are facing disciplinary hearings for ignoring dismissal notices and two court interdicts issued during the strike. Garbage went largely uncollected in Johannesburg during this time.

No work no pay applied

Mashapu said they would implement the 'no work no pay policy' but that it would be spread over a period of time to mitigate the impact on the workers.

“The no work no pay rule will apply with 50% of the deduction being deferred and the remaining two tranches of 25% deducted in May and June. The immediate return to work will be taken into account in mitigation of the sanctions in the disciplinary hearings,” he said.

Mashapu added that the negotiations on salary benchmarking would be based on the principle of a salary scale, a common grading system and salary progression based on tenure and job performance.

“It was further agreed that the parties will embark on a relationship building exercise to restore relationships. Finally it has been agreed to allow the parallel and ongoing deployment of contracted resources to ensure that the backlog of uncollected waste (domestic, illegally dumped, putrefied or otherwise) is recovered,” said Mashapu.

He would not be drawn on how much extra the contracted deployment would cost the city. He said the priority was to ensure the removal of waste and get the situation back to normal.

Samwu regional chairperson in Gauteng, Vuyani Singonzo, said the agreement would pave a way for engagements with the employer.

"The agreement is paving a way... in terms of the demands of the workers to take place starting tomorrow [Monday]," he said.

Read more on:    pikitup

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