DURBAN - Social worker Jeevie Pillay, is taking Unisa to task over unpaid invoices dating back to 2015. Pillay , who is married to former eThekwini Speaker Logie Naidoo, is an independent contractor with the university and has been providing services since 2009. She facilitates workshops, acts as a mentor to supervisors, and also marks online assignments.
“As social workers we are supposed to advocate on behalf of the voiceless and the vulnerable but now we need to advocate for ourselves," she said. “I have not been paid at all for the year and there are about 35 others who are experiencing the same problems. My outstanding claims come close to R60 000 and there is another independent contractor who is owed almost R190 000.”
Pillay said she started experiencing non payment issues when the institution upgraded their payment system. Payment turnaround times became longer and eventually contractors ended up not receiving any remuneration.
“In the time that you sent a claim and you expect payment, you are already doing more work and sending other claims. Then you get a paid but you don't know exactly what it’s for,” she said. I haven’t had a salary advice since 2014, and I have written about 10 emails requesting them so that I could identify the work that was paid for, but I have not received any pay slips since.”
She added that there had been instances where the finance section within the social work department had not processed claims because of missing documents. But the department's lack of communication made it difficult for contractors to assist the payment process.