Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality meets striking staff

JUNE 25, 2015

The Management of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Infrastructure & Engineering (I&E) Directorate held a report back meeting with staff on Wednesday in order to provide feedback on a list of items that had been received a week ago.

"The meeting was held at 11:30 at the Despatch Community Hall and was attended by approximately 250 I&E staff and twelve Management, including a representative from our Labour Relations Division," said the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Director of Communications, Roland Williams in a statement.

"Among the items that staff required feedback on were:

+ All 'contract 99' staff vacancies must be filled by end of this month.

+ The removal of qualifications conditions for acting appointments.

+ Demand for Risk and dirt allowance.

+ All contractors doing work similar to what staff are employed to do must be stopped.

+ Poor relations between management and staff must be addressed."

He said that these demands were communicated to Management last Wednesday.

According to Williams, on Tuesday's and Wednesday's feedback meeting, Management responded as follows:

+ 177 contract 99 staff had been appointed. In addition, another 59 staff were in the processor being placed.

+ Management was unable to change the qualification condition for acting appointments, as this was a Policy issue and, unless the Policy was changed, this demand could not be met.

+ The demand for Risk and Dirt Allowance was currently being considered by the Benefits Committee.

+ All our contractual obligations with service providers must be met. at the same time, we will follow up and investigate any specific claims that outsourcing may have taken place when there was internal capacity. This investigation will be concluded within three months.

+ With regard to better relations, "MUM" meetings (management and union meetings) were being implemented and have even been cascaded to divisional levels. At the same time, any staff member who was unhappy with any area, may follow Council's grievance procedure.

"Other areas that were also brought up at the meeting included overtime and artisan training. With respect to the former, Management explained that overtime was regulated in terms of legislation and policy and subject to budget availability," he said

"With respect to artisan training, a number of training initiatives has been undertaken, including the traiNing of 62 plumbers through ETC, 44 through the LGSETA and another 17 through the Services SETA.

"The staff at the Despatch meeting were seemingly unhappy with the responses and insisted that Management must commit to some of the demands, and that their issues had to be addressed directly by the City Manager. The team of managers who were present were unable to commit further than the feedback that was provided, and they were refused to leave the hall.

"Eventually, after three caucuses they were released this afternoon."

A follow up meeting was scheduled for 5pm yesterday between Management and Shop Stewards and we will be updating you on that.