Ingonyama Trust Board faces Nehawu’s wrath over salaries and other workers’ issues
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Durban - The under fire Ingonyama Trust board in KwaZulu-Natal is facing crippling industrial action after its workers on Monday started lunch hour pickets aimed at forcing it to the negotiating table.
The picket by the board's staff in the Pietermaritzburg head office started on Monday and they are led by Nehawu (National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union) which claims that 70% of the board’s staff are its active members.
Speaking to Independent Media on the second day of the picket, Ayanda Zulu, Nehawu KZN provincial secretary, said the lunch hour picket is just the beginning of a full-blown strike they would soon embark on to compel the board to attend to the litany of grievances by the workers it employed.
“For now, this is what is called lunch hour pickets which will run for the whole (of this) week. These pickets are just a precursor for a full-blown strike as the CCMA has granted us the certificate (to strike),” Zulu said.
Among the many worker’s grievances, Zulu said they want the board of the trust to resolve the issue of salaries which he claimed have not been adjusted in the past three years, converting long time contract workers into permanent employees and abiding by Covid-19 regulations in the workplace.
“Workers’ salaries have not been reviewed and adjusted for the past three years and we want that to be resolved now. Also, the workers are complaining that sometimes they don’t get paid on time and when they do get paid on time, their salaries come with some shortfalls.
“That’s not all as we also want the board to resolve the issue of contract workers. Some workers have been on contracts for over seven years, we want them to be employed permanently,” Zulu said, adding that the board's workers should be getting their annual increments every April just like civil servants.
The long-serving chairperson of the board and confidante of late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, Jerome Ngwenya (a former judge who resigned from the bench many years ago), first said he was not aware of the pickets since he was not at the offices of the board.
He later said he would only comment to the media after being given minutes of the meeting where the issue of salaries, contract workers and other matters were discussed as claimed by the union. He said he did not want to fall for the trap of making media comments when no facts have been presented to him.