Pretoria News 13 January 2020
Pretoria – The regional branch of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is again at odds with the City of Tshwane over wage increases – the issue which led to a crippling unprotected strike last year.
Regional union secretary Mpho Tladinyane said more than 100 shop stewards will today picket at Tshwane House with a view to putting pressure on the acting city manager, Makgorometje Makgata, to resolve their grievances and avert further action.
Tladinyane said the workers’ contention was that there had been an “incorrect calculation” of new salary scales to be implemented in line with the City’s category 10 status.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs moved Tshwane from a level nine municipality to 10 in 2017, but its employees’ salary scales were not adjusted in line with its new higher status.
In July/August last year workers took to the streets of the capital over the salary adjustment dispute, bringing operations in the City to a standstill.
To break the impasse, an investigation was undertaken to benchmark salary scales in Tshwane with those in other metros with a view to paying workers according to the norm.
The report generally revealed discrepancies between workers in Tshwane and those in other major metros such as Joburg and Ekurhuleni.
The City was expected to address the problem in December, but that was not done.
Tladinyane fingered the City’s governance support officer (GSO), Lorette Tredoux, as the person frustrating the process to meet metro workers’ demands.
He claimed Tredoux relied on “incorrect calculations” to determine new salary scales.
“The signed collective agreement on new salary scales state that payments for the period July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, will be paid as soon as possible but not later than January 26, 2020.”
He claimed the calculations had been changed by Tredoux and the union refused them and was demanding her immediate suspension.
In December Makgata requested time to consider the matter and to seek legal opinion.
A follow-up meeting was held on December 23, before Christmas, Tladinyane said.
Parties were due to meet again last week to get an update but the meeting was postponed to Friday this week.
Tladinyane said Samwu gave the acting city manager until today to clarify all matters in this regard and warned that shop stewards would gather at Tshwane House, the council headquarters, to demand proper implementation of the new salaries.
In August last year, Samwu reached an agreement with the City of Tshwane, under a conciliation process in the SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC), following days of massive protests in Pretoria’s CBD.
Stick-wielding workers took over the streets of the CBD, using municipal buses and trucks to block some key intersections.