Legislature staff down tools
Tholukuthi hey Asijiki 9% finish and klaar! No to 7.4%! Away with inward looking management! Stop flying business class! Down with Skosana! Current offer is Kak! These were some of the impeccable chronicled profanities hurled at the ‘intransigent’ Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) management.
Back to the story,dozens of GPL employees affiliated to National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu ) downed tools and picketed peacefully carrying placards outside their parliament in the Joburg CBD last Friday.
Clad in red and white union t-shirts, they braved the unrelenting scorching heat of the spring day and sang struggle songs, ridiculed managementat at the Legislature Piazza.
This protest was sparked by what they branded ‘breakdown of negotiations between management and Nehawu GPL branch on a wide range of issues including salary augmentation’.
These cheesed off employees vigorously rounded their building block twice chanting and dancing in that blazing heat. But the after effect of that less than a kilometer walk took its toll on some of them.
From a distance one could visibly see that their bellies couldn’t carry them longer. Any bystander could mistakenly conclude that they were running a five km marathon because some of them looked drunk with fatigue and in a sluggish drained state that could only be cured by a quench of an icy Mofaya energy drink.
Speaking to this publication on the sidelines, DumisaniMntungwa, chairperson of the Nehawu branch said, the strike could have been averted if management was thinking straight and prepared to listen.
He said management’s offer of 7.4% increase was inconsiderate and laughable.
“Other legislatures around the country got between 8 and 9.4%. It’s a bit unfair because we negotiated under one bargaining unit,” he said.
Mntungwa also revealed that allegations of sex for work, nepotism and reports that interns were given adequate salary increase better than the one offered to permanent staff was some of the reasons that triggered the strike.
The picketing diffused only after management came out to receive the memorandum of their demands.
Accepting the memorandum, Uhuru Moiloa,GPL Deputy Speaker, put on a brave face and told them management was accepting these grievances with open hands and mind.
“We are still committed, there is no way we can close the doors for you. It’s so unfortunate that this issue is now in the public arena.”
Moiloa also noted that these demands are original and thanked the employees for their meticulous behaviour.
“Economic conditions are so harsh and we don’t want you to lose a cent. We must find each other because the strike has direct consequences for both of us.
“We still believe there is still a platform to find each other. Our doors are still open to find an amicable solution. We represent an institution elected by yourself and other South Africans. We are not adversaries we love you,” he said.
Peter Skosana, GPL Secretary also spoke to this reporter on the sidelines.
Pressed about sex for work, nepotism reports and arrogance?
He said, “ Those who have information must come forward and submit that evidence. As things stand we are not able to respond to those allegations.
“We are looking at all options to see how we can find each other and reach an amicable solution that can solve this impasse that brought us to deadlock,” he said.
Skosana also flatly refuted claims by employees that management was arrogant.
“We are not arrogant as a collective. We are very respectful and have our own integrity.”
SEE BELOW THE NEHAWU GPL BRANCH DEMANDS THAT WAS HANDED OVER TO MANAGEMENT
- 9.5 % increase for workers in the bargaining unit (P7-P16) which includes a cushion on the annual medical aid increases and implement same by the 15 September 2017.
- Immediate implementation of the current IPMS policy which covers all workers in the bargaining unit.
- That GPL management must move from the total cost to company to basic plus benefits by 12th December 2017.
- In line with the 2016/17 Salary Agreement, GPL management must implement the agreed 1.5% pay progression increase, backdated to April 2016 with immediate effect.
- The Secretary to the Legislature must convene the quarterly staff meetings committed by management.
- GPL must stop the unilateral implementation of decisions without consulting the labour union, e.gOrganisational Development Exercise, policies, unit restructurings and increase of intern’s allowances.
- Stop nepotism, corruption, favouritism, job for pals, sex for jobs in the workplace.
- Implement consequence management on incompetent, inefficient and non performing senior management.
- Demand the centralised bargaining in the legislative sector.
- GPL must respond to these demands in the next 72 hours.