Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - A group of senior City of Tshwane managers want the R318 million bonus agreement the municipality reached with striking workers scrapped and the bosses’ 18% pay hikes reinstated.

The City previously reached the agreement with the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) in August after widespread violence in the capital city that caused damage estimated at R500m.

In terms of the agreement with the two unions, the municipality agreed to pay a one-off ex gratia payment of between R7000 and R15000 to its employees as an equalisation allowance, and to scrap the 18% salary increase earmarked for the group and divisional heads with immediate effect.

The 45 managers include executives who report directly to the city manager (section 56 managers) as well as group and divisional heads (non-section 56 managers.

They have asked the Labour Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, to set aside the deal between the municipality, Samwu and Imatu which occurred in August. This effectively suspends the implementation of the 18% salary increase until the completion of a benchmarking process, and pending the institution and finalisation of their review proceedings on the decision to temporarily halt the pay hike.

The managers also want their 18% increase to be effected retrospectively to August 29.

According to their papers, they want the Labour Court to order that review proceedings against the City of Tshwane’s decision be instituted within 30 days.

The managers’ salaries were increased after the City of Tshwane was reclassified as a category 10 municipality, with section 56 employees receiving 18% pay hikes in March last year while their non-section 56 colleagues received 5% with effect from July 2017.

In July this year, shortly before aggrieved employees went on an unprotected strike trashing the capital city, Samwu filed a grievance with the municipality stating that the decision to effect the managers’ increases was an unfair labour practice.

The union argued that the municipality was inconsistently applying its remuneration policy and excluding all other permanent employees.

It is yet to be seen how the union will fight the managers’ action.

Attempts to obtain comment from Samwu Tshwane regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane were unsuccessful as he did not respond to questions sent to him.

Political Bureau