Tshwane admits rules were bent on senior staff increases

The City of Tshwane admits it bent the rules when it approved an 18% salary increase for its senior staff.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Tshwane admits it bent the rules when it approved an 18 percent salary increase for its senior staff.

The matter resulted in chaos in the city this week, with municipal workers blocking traffic and strewing rubbish on the streets.

Union Samwu says the city's other 22,000 employees also deserve the same salary hike.

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It's demanding ordinary employees also receive 18 percent increases.

The City is admitting the correct process wasn't followed in hiking senior staff's salaries.

"The City of Tshwane approached the National Bargaining Council in March to apply for an exemption for the 18 percent increase," said municipal spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane.

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"That application was opposed by the unions. We then returned in June to make the same application.

"It is still pending, and, yet we still went ahead and implemented that 18 percent increase instead of waiting for the decision of the National Bargaining Council."

This isn't going down well with the unions.

"If they wanted to do anything that is related to the already agreed benefits of workers, they were supposed to bring an item properly to the  National Bargaining Council where they indicate their own reasons," said Samwu General Secretary Koena Ramatlou.

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"And in fact, it won't be the City of Tshwane alone. It will be all the municipalities in the country represented by Salga."

But the City is defending the senior workers' salary increases, saying these staff members have forfeited benefits such as their pension funds, medical aid and a 13th cheque.

The workers are demanding a double-digit salary hike.