Unruly cops face the chop

2012-07-25 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG traffic and safety officers who stormed into the City Hall, demanding to know why bodyguards were first in the queue to be regraded and given their back-pay, will have to answer for their actions.

Msunduzi Municipality manager, Mxolisi Nkosi yesterday served the 75 employees with notice of intention to suspend. They have 48 hours in which to respond and say why they should not be suspended.

The disgruntled workers stormed into City Hall after discovering that only 58 staff, including the bodyguards, were regraded, while they were left waiting. Their protest was to do with a progression policy which came into effect in March this year.

Nkosi had authorised that staff who qualified to be regraded were entitled to back-pay from the date their re-grading came into effect.

On Monday, the angry workers parked their municipal vehicles on the pavement outside the hall and marched inside, demanding to meet Nkosi. A worker, who did not wish to be identified, said he was angry because he was eagerly awaiting his money, only to find out that the councillors’ bodyguards received “preferential treatment” and were back-paid first. He said his anger was not directed at Nkosi.

“We want the municipal manager to deal harshly with those human resources officials who refuse to take orders from him, because what they are doing is dividing workers,” he added.

Another worker said that some had been waiting for years to be graded and receive extra pay.

He said they were not on strike or protesting, but that they wanted to ensure that the municipal manager was aware of the situation.

However, Nkosi was angry at the workers’ actions. “I refused to see them because this is not how we are supposed to operate. We have procedures that have to be followed when taking up grievances,” he said.

Nkosi said all those who abandoned their workplaces will have to answer for their actions.

“They might have genuine grievances, but the way they took them up is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Nkosi added that all those who drove the municipal vehicles to the city hall might never drive them again.

“Maybe we have done a lot of talking and now it is time to act, and to act swiftly,” he added.

On serving the suspension notices, Nkosi said workers had to learn to act within the law.

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