Rand West City Municipality merger costly
Kaya News can reveal that the merger of the Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities on the Westrand is forcing the newly formed Rand West City municipality to spend more on salaries. That is an additional R5.8 million a month on salaries only. “We don’t have this money”, said Rand West City executive mayor Mzi Khumalo.
Since the August 3rd, local government elections staff at the then Westonaria local municipality have been unhappy. It is alleged that municipal workers of Rand West City offices in Randfontein are paid better than their peers in Westonaria. This is despite workers from both offices having same positions, job descriptions and equal qualifications. Workers in Westonaria then decided to embark on an indefinite strike, which has disrupted most of the services offered by the municipality.-“Issues of parity must be dealt with head on. It is a legitimate matter that the workers are raising and our municipality must address it at a go. Our preliminary report on salary costs due to the merger is that we need an additional R5.8 million on personnel. We are forced to look at which system we can adopt to put everybody on equal salary level. Treasury is not going to give us money because it does not help with the remuneration of personnel. In addressing this salary disparity we have to look at where savings can be done internally. We can’t go to customers and charge them high rates”, said Khumalo.
Since workers in Westonaria downed tools, Khumalo has been engaging with them in staff meetings. On Thursday 20 October 2016 the mayor went back to Westonaria to deliver a decision taken by the municipality’s management and workers union SAMWU. The decision includes adjusting salaries of general workers in the levels 10 to 14 from November 25, 2016. The salaries of other workers falling in grades 1 to 9 have been subjected to jobs evaluations.
The South African Local Government Association will be roped in to do these jobs evaluations which will determine the correct adjustments to individual positions
Angry junior managers became noisy and disorderly saying the mayor is dividing staff. The anticipation was that Khumalo would them that their salaries will be adjusted to that of Randfontein staff. And these adjustments will be from pay day, October 25.
A standoff then erupted during the meeting and Khumalo abandoned it, leaving union SAMWU to conclude the meeting. A resolution was taken late yesterday to end the strike. All municipal services will be back on track from next week Monday.
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