DA 'not at all happy' about payment agreement with Tshwane striking municipal workers - report

2019-08-04 17:50
Protestors left the city of Tshwane in a mess when protesting.

Protestors left the city of Tshwane in a mess when protesting. (Twitter)

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DA governance chief James Selfe says the party is not impressed with the once-off payment agreements made with disgruntled municipal workers of the City of Tshwane.  

This after the city was gridlocked for three days last week when workers embarked on a strike demanding an 18% salary increase which they said was given to the city's top management and executives. 

However, according to the Sunday Times, Selfe says his party, which took office in the city in 2016 after the local government elections, is "not at all happy" with the agreement bonuses which will see the city spending R318m. 

After a week of chaos and disruption in the capital, the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu), Independent Municipal Allied Union (Imatu) and the City reached a settlement agreement on Thursday night, News24 reported.

While the agreement was not in favour of the 18% the workers had been calling for, it saw the implementation of increases for section 56 group heads and divisional heads, which was used to allow increases for top management, being suspended until completion of a benchmarking exercise.   

More so, the city also agreed to pay the workers ex gratia equalisation payments based on their current basic salaries. The once-off payments range R7000 to R15 000. 

According to the Sunday publication, Selfe believes this decision would cost the city "a lot of money" and questioned its legality, saying the city did not want to be at odds with the upcoming yearly bargaining cycle. 

"If you start making adaptations to salaries outside of the cycle, you can find yourself out of step with the rest of the municipalities and that will have very serious consequences for the residents of Tshwane. So we are not at all happy with this," he was quoted as saying. 

Selfe is reportedly flying up to the capital city on Monday to meet with Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa to seek answers regarding the issue. Mokgalapa was apparently on an international trip to China last week when the strike took place. 

While some of the workers who had been picketing the streets causing havoc were happy about the agreements reached by unions and city at the bargaining council, others remain disappointed about the settlement which brought the strike to an end.

Other employees suggested that they had been "sold out" by the unions representing them, News24 reported last Friday.

"Our stance was 18% and nothing else. Now, this [ settlement agreement] means that our singing all this week was for nothing because they are now talking about R15 000 (gratia equalisation payments). This means our strike was in vain," an employee said.

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Read more on:    da  |  samwu  |  james selfe  |  tshwane  |  protests  |  labour
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