Tension resurface between Nehawu and Parliament management

2016-06-23 16:01
Nehawu members walked out of a meeting with management at Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

Nehawu members walked out of a meeting with management at Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Parliament's Nehawu members walked out of a meeting with management on Thursday as tensions between staffers and management resurfaced.

Gathered on the precinct, with a handful of police officers standing by, National Education Health and Allied Workers Union branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe told workers they felt that Parliament's Secretary Gengezi Mgidlana did not respect them.

Employees felt as though he was talking down to them when they raised work-related concerns.

These include a dispute over how many days' pay should have been deducted because of last year's prolonged strike, considering gates were locked at one point and they could not enter the precinct to get into their offices.

They were also still unhappy about Parliament's new security vetting process.

They had wanted to be able to air these and other issues during a meeting on Tuesday, but felt that Mgidlana was disrespectful.

He walked out when they started singing over him, said Nehawu. The union at Parliament is known for its rousing renditions of revolutionary songs, with many of its members in the institution's choir.

The meeting was rescheduled for Thursday, but this time Nehawu walked out after finding out that three members were facing internal charges of insubordination. Tembe was also expecting to be served with internal charges in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

Parliament is in recess, with most MPs out in their constituencies campaigning for their parties ahead of the August 3 municipal elections. However, the machinery of the institution carries on, with researchers, committee secretaries, security and other support staff still at work every day. The process to find a new Public Protector is one of the tasks still underway.

Parliament said it would do what was necessary to normalise the situation and would take appropriate action where necessary. Spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs was in a meeting on Thursday morning and could not comment immediately on the latest action.

Meanwhile, Nehawu's provincial congress is being held in Cape Town this week.

Read more on:    parliament  |  nehawu  |  cape town  |  labour

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