Workers won't go back until demands met - Nehawu

2015-11-23 20:32
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Attitudes hardened among Parliament's striking National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) workers on Monday as they dismissed the percentages proposed for performance bonus calculations.

"Tomorrow we need to up our game. I don't care if they call the police. It is an insult to workers," Sthembiso Tembe, Nehawu branch chairperson, told workers gathered in the Old Assembly building.

"The report that we have is not something that we can be part of," said Tembe. 

Workers were warned to not report for work until the dispute had been resolved, and they had been paid back money already docked from their salaries for each day they are absent.

Read more: Nehawu to carry on striking in Parliament

He claimed the media was confusing the situation and accused Parliament's manager Gengezi Mgidlana of lying and trying to destroy Parliament over the performance bonus dispute.

Meanwhile, Nehawu's national leaders were at the Cosatu conference in Gauteng.

Nehawu's Parliament leadership vowed that workers would not go back to work until they were satisfied with what was offered.

A Nehawu document on Friday proposed that people who got a one or a two rating for their performance assessment would get nothing - in line with using the bonuses as an incentive for good work. 

'We must start from the top'

This rose to a band of between 5% and 12.5% for performance ratings of between 3 and 4.9 and a generous 15% bonus for those who got the coveted five.

Parliament has countered with, for example: for the 3.1 to 3.5 rating range, the increase would be a proposed 3.1% compared with Nehawu's proposal of 5%.

The parties would meet again on Tuesday and the strike would continue, he said, asking workers for extra commitment and dedication to the strike.

Read more: Nehawu, Parliament still at loggerheads

Parliament's management has said it has R16m to work with to pay the performance bonuses, but said this was not enough for what Nehawu wants.

"As to where they will find money is none of our business," said Tembe.

But, he suggested using the money which had not be used due to staff vacancies.

"We must change the course of this institution. We must make sure Parliament is never the same again. We must make sure that we get rich from all these managers in parliament.

"And we must start from the top."

No formal notice on strike

He said, because the bonuses would apply to everybody regardless of their job, those in high paid positions would still do very well from the lower percentages, but the majority of employees would not.

Parliament issued a statement earlier on Monday, saying workers had gone back on strike without formally notifying them.

"No formal notification of a strike was received by management as required," the statement said, noting it had read about it in the media.

It said that it had understood that the point of negotiations was to find a solution.

"Leaving the discussion table every time a party does not get its way, suggests a predisposition to a win-lose mentality which is not helpful."

It has not responded to follow up questions yet on how many workers were back on strike, but many services at Parliament were on hold again.

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

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