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Durban - The eThekwini municipality has been saddled with a hefty wage bill following a Labour Court ruling compelling municipalities to evaluate employees’ grading and then backpay staff from July 2010.
The Labour Court recently ruled in favour of municipal workers’ unions on the disputed wage curve collective agreement, raising severe financial implications for all local governments.
The wage curve regulates the salary structure for all municipal employees.
On Thursday, SA Local Government Association spokesman Milisa Kentane said the association could only ascertain the financial implications of the judgment after the legal opinion was received and a comprehensive financial assessment of the impact on affected municipalities was completed.
She added that the association could appeal against the decision, which would put on hold its implementation until the matter was heard by the relevant court.
The eThekwini treasurer Krish Kumar told The Mercury the city was still calculating what the financial implications of the judgment would be.
“We did not budget for the salary adjustments and backpay. We are working on the matter, but we have not finalised the figures – we are working on the impact,” he said.
Kumar said that once they had determined how much it would cost, his department would put together a report advising the executive committee how much money was needed.
“We will send funding proposals to council within the next week or so.”
Already more than R6 billion in eThekwini is earmarked for salaries, allowances and salary increases for the 2012/13 financial year.
SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) general secretary Mthandeki Nhlapo said the implementation of the wage curve was subject to various processes to be determined by the bargaining council on Friday.
He said municipalities would have to evaluate employees’ job descriptions and their grading would also need to be confirmed and finalised.
The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union and Samwu have been calling for employers to finalise the issue of job evaluation since 2010. - The Mercury