Pretoria - City of Tshwane workers within the low-earning bracket are still taking home better pay cheques than their counterparts in other metros.
On the other hand, workers at higher level are generally paid less compared with others elsewhere in the country.
This was detailed in a municipal report compiled following a 60-day benchmarking exercise, comparing City of Tshwane salary scales with those of their counterparts.
The exercise was undertaken by a task team of representatives from the City and unions as part of the agreement that ended the wage strike in August.
The team was tasked with comparing salary scales in Tshwane with other metros with a view to putting them on par with those of other Category 10 municipalities.
Tshwane was upgraded from level 9 to 10 in 2017, but its salary scales were not adjusted in line with its new status. Workers downed tools because they wanted all salary scales to be adjusted according to its new category.
They were also aggrieved by 18% increments received only by Section 56 managers and divisional heads. That decision was, however, subsequently withdrawn.
Parties engaged in wage negotiations resolved to undertake a salary benchmarking exercise to determine how municipal workers in metros across the country were paid.
The benchmarking report recently presented to council showed that Tshwane “pays more than its peers at the lower salary levels and less than its peers at higher levels”.
The report said: “The trend that emerges from this exercise is that the City of Tshwane pays more than its peers at the lower salary levels and less than its peers at higher levels.”
However, it was discovered that the only metro that paid more than Tshwane in most task levels was Ekurhuleni. “It was also noted that although Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is not a category 10 municipality, it pays higher salaries than the City of Tshwane,” the report said.
The City’s municipal wages were compared with the 2019 salary scales from Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and the City of Cape Town.
The report noted that the salary scales from Ekurhuleni were for the 2018 financial year. However, for purposes of comparability they were adjusted by the SA Local Government Association rate of 6.5% to reflect what the scales should be, were they the 2019 scales.
The task team could not compare Tshwane’s salaries with those from Joburg and Mangaung because the information provided by the two metros was difficult to decipher.
It was further said that the benchmarking exercise may not result in employees being left worse off than they were in terms of their current salary scales.
The report was not conclusive; it will have to be discussed by the task team, which would bear a responsibility to sign it at the Local Labour Forum.
SA Municipal Workers Union regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane said the report was still a working document. Despite a picture painted that Tshwane was paying more to its low-earning staff and less to its senior workers, he was optimistic that after the process everybody would benefit.
He said: “We are paying more when we start, but in terms of the maximum, workers are paid less.”
For example, Tladinyane said the maximum salary scale proposed for those in low-income bracket was R150000, to be upped from R138000.
“The exercise will benefit the workers,” he added.