Ezemvelo wage dispute continues

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Copy of IOL new rand money Reuters .

Durban - Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff were prevented from entering their offices at their Pietermaritzburg headquarters by striking staff members for the second day running.

The staff have been protesting since Monday about a decision to implement a new structure with only a handful of already senior managers being placed in new positions with more pay.

While Ezemvelo was optimistic about the picketing being resolved, union representatives vowed to continue until their demands for the more than 2 000 staff to receive the same benefit from the new structure were met.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambo said this morning that management expected all employees to report to work today because the work stoppage was not recognised and was unprotected.

Management were working on a permanent solution, he said.

Mntambo said a team of executive managers assisted by external specialists had been set up to work out an acceptable solution.

“This team will table its proposal to the executive management committee on Monday after which the committee will communicate the way forward to all staff.”

But National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union KZN chairwoman, Thobile Nkosi, said the picketing and barricading of the offices would continue until their grievances had been addressed.

“Our workers are dissatisfied with the actions of the employer.”

She added that only 49 senior managers had been “migrated” into the new structure designed by Ezemvelo, leaving more than 2 082 staff out in the cold.

“That is the majority of our members and that is not acceptable.”

She said the union wanted a meeting with MEC for Economic Development Mike Mabuyakhulu to help find a solution and to possibly intervene in the dispute.

On Friday the union had gone to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

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