Nehawu walks out of Parliament talks until salary deductions paid back

2015-11-13 17:48
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Parliament's protesting employees will not negotiate with management until money taken off their salaries for days missed during the strike is paid back.

Sthembiso Tembe, the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) chairperson of the branch in Parliament, said on Friday the Basic Conditions of Employment Act sets out a process that should end with a guilty verdict in a disciplinary hearing before money can be deducted.

Until the support staff for the country's lawmakers get their money back, they refuse to be part of any further negotiations to bring full service back to Parliament.

Some employees had had as much as R4 000 and R6 000 docked from their pay, which they receive mid-minth.

On Thursday Parliament's secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana, said the deductions were in line with legislation, and that Parliament was obliged to enforce the laws it passed.

He said the striking employees had not declared a formal dispute over how performance bonuses would be calculated - they just did not report for work and went outside to protest, which meant they were on strike.

Suspicious of security vetting process

But Tembe said there had been no consistency nor an attempt at establishing who had been off sick, or writing exams.

Members were also suspicious of a new security vetting process for everybody and refused to be a part of it, fearing their information would land in the wrong hands.

They understood that vetting was only done if a period of 10 years had lapsed, but people who had only been working at the precinct for two years were told they had to be vetted again.

The core issue for Nehawu and Parliament is whether performance bonuses should be calculated as a percentage of a month's pay, which is Parliament's interpretation of a clause in the 2014/15 agreement, or the employees' view that they agreed for it to be based on their total cost to company package over a year.

They have already secured a 9% increase they felt would close the gap between the highest and lowest paid, but were dismayed that Mgidlana had also received this, claiming his salary was already huge.

Employees in various positions on the precinct downed tools on November 6 and have been protesting loudlyin the parliamentary precinct this week.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  strikes

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