Friday, July 31, 2009

On the fourth day of the municipal workers strike

By Khanyisa Tabata
31July 2009

On the fourth day of the municipal workers’ strike of the City’s total workforce were reported absent without authorisation. This is a significant decrease on the numbers of yesterday.

In the City’s Health Directorate staff were absent without authorisation. Staff at Zakhele, Nyanga, Vuyani, Masincedane, Gugulethu, Cross Roads, Hout Bay, Masiphumele and Ocean View were redeployed to other clinics, as these clinics were closed.

In the Transport, Roads & Stormwater Directorate 598 (38%) staff were absent without permission.

While the City respects the right of employees to strike, it expects the right of staff who choose to work to be respected by striking workers.

In terms of the current offer being discussed at the South African Local Government Bargaining Council, the City considers that in the current adverse economic climate the proposal of 11.5% is both reasonable and fair.

The added financial impact of the latest proposal adjustment will inhibit the City’s ability to fund critical and essential vacancies which in turn will impact on service delivery. Every additional 1% adjustment in the wage increase equates to an increase of approximately R50 million on the City’s payroll.

Refuse collection has been affected in certain parts of the city by the strike, particularly due to intimidation from striking workers. Residents are however asked to leave their wheelie bins out on their normal collection days.

If the bin has not been emptied on the normal collection day residents are requested to leave the bin out for the rest of the week, as the Solid Waste Department will be catching up later in the week. The City apologises to residents for the disruption and is putting in additional crews to deal with the backlog.

The City’s contingency plans will remain in place for as long as the strike continues to ensure minimal disruption of services. The City apologises to residents for any disruptions caused.


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