Overtime tap turned off

2010-07-01 00:00

MUNICIPAL employees who have been abusing council’s overtime, cellphone and vehicle policies will no longer have the opportunity to do so officially from today.

The restrictions come after the Msunduzi administrator, Johann Mettler, tabled new policies at yesterday’s full council sitting as a way to help the municipality comply with regulations and help it to cut down on expenditure.

In terms of the new overtime policy, municipal employees will now have the option to decide whether they want to work overtime or not.

Should employees decide to work overtime, they will not be allowed to work more than 10 overtime hours per week.

They will also not be allowed to exceed three overtime hours a day.

Workers wanting to claim for overtime will be able to do so only if it has been budgeted for and it is authorised by the municipal mana­ger.

Said Mettler: “If they want to work for 80 hours, they will be paid for 40.”

He said the heads of each department will be responsible for monitoring the quality and quantity of overtime worked as well as keeping updated records, which will be available for scrutiny at any time.

Regular overtime audits will become the norm.

As for the cellphones policy, Mettler said: “There was excessive and unscrupulous use of cellphones at all levels of the municipality.”

Mettler has introduced new measures to curb this.

Depending on the employees’ job categories, the new cellphone policy will limit their monthly allowance to between R350 and R1 500 as long as they have the authority of their manager.

“Any expenses in excess of the allocated cellular telephone allowance shall be for the employees’ own account.

“... there must be a clear operational requirement for any employee to be granted a cellular telephone allowance,” the Msunduzi administrator added.

He said cellphone allowances are not a right and the municipality will decide which employees will get them.

Employees who need to exceed their cellphone allowances for work-related purposes will need to justify their claims and ask their managers to authorise it, said Mettler.

When the Democratic Alliance caucus leader, Bill Lambert, asked whether there will be investigations with a view to recovering all money related to such abuses in the past, Mettler responded by saying: “The answer is yes.”

The municipality is also reining in the abuse of vehicles.

Employees who use private vehicles for work-related purposes will now have to log all official trips in a log book, which will be closely monitored.

“… journeys between residence and place of work do not form part of the allowance,” said Mettler.

Johann Mettler, administrator

There was excessive and unscrupulous use of cellphones on all levels of the municipality.

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