Administrator averts municipal strike

2011-07-21 00:00

THE South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in the Msunduzi Municipality is pleased that the council’s administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, has agreed that the municipality should revert to its original organogram structure, which the union said will ensure that no worker will be retrenched.

In the last quarter of last year speculation was rife that the then administrator, Johann Mettler, had proposed a new organogram for the municipality with the aim of rationalising jobs.

The Witness reported in September last year that the municipal staff were worried that about 600 workers would be retrenched and that the new organogram sought to achieve this.

Mettler at the time was adamant that no instruction regarding retrenchments had been put forward by the turnaround team.

This explanation did not ease the fears of employees, who had heard of meetings being held with library staff and with the human resources managers from different units last year, and city hall insiders believed that the organogram pointed to “constructive retrenchments”.

Yesterday Msunduzi Samwu chairperson Lucky Zimu and secretary Thulani Nzimande welcomed the administrator’s signing of the agreement that the municipality will revert to the original structure.

The agreement effectively averted a planned strike by the union, which was scheduled for tomorrow and which was intended to force Sithole to sign and implement the agreement.

Zimu said the agreement has allayed any fears of retrenchments and that the original organogram has in fact created vacancies.

In a meeting Zimu said the union also demanded that 18 process managers, who were “displaced” by Mettler’s task team, should be reinstated by today.

“Most of the process managers, who knew the requirements of their respective units and who were employed to manage their units, were reporting to junior staff who were appointed to act in their positions,” said Zimu.

“This agreement further cemented our good relations with the administrator who prioritises services delivery and the needs of workers,” said Nzimande.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma could not comment before going to print.

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