Pretoria News 14 January 2020

Pretoria – More than 100 shop stewards belonging to the regional South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have vowed to continue picketing at Tshwane House until the municipality paid lump sums it promised workers in December.

The payouts were part of a collective agreement between the union and the City of Tshwane, reached after a week-long strike last year after a wage dispute.

Workers took to the streets to complain that the City failed to adjust their salaries in line with its category 10 status accorded by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in 2017. The City was moved from a level 9 municipality to 10.

Worker representatives converged yesterday at Tshwane House to air their grievances regarding delays to the implementation of the new salary scales.

Samwu regional chairperson Nkhetheni Muthavhi and other workers’ representatives had a closed door meeting with acting city manager, Makgorometje Makgata, over the issue, while others sang Struggle songs at the foyer of the municipal headquarters.

They accused governance support officer Lorette Tredoux of wanting to use “incorrect calculations” to determine the new salary scales.

They called for Makgata to compile a council report seeking to suspend Tredoux, who is on leave.

The union’s regional secretary, Mpho Tladinyane, said the collective agreement on new salary scales stated that payments for the period July 1 to December 31, 2019, would be paid as soon as possible but not later than January 26.

He said City management admitted that they were wrong. Although management initially could not give an undertaking as to when they would pay out workers, Tladinyane said: “We are not here to negotiate a collective agreement. All of us must be paid by the end of next week.”

The union would meet again with City management tomorrow to monitor efforts made to meet the deadline for paying workers.

“They are going to write letters to all of you that would indicate that you would be paid by Friday next week,” he said.

City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said Makgata has expressed a commitment to pay lump sums to employees by the end of this month.

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