On Wednesday, several staff members of the legislature; some of the committee secretaries; communication officers; and stenographers, who are responsible for the recordings of meetings and keeping them in the legislature’s archives, chose to abandon their work to demand salary increases.
Various committee meetings on Education; Health; and Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation had to be postponed because of the strike action. Other recent committee meetings also had to be postponed.
The employees, led by National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), were staging an indefinite strike in demand of an 8% salary hike across the board.
The legislature, however, has offered 7.4%, and the negotiations have been deadlocked.
Nehawu branch secretary Kgomotso Sekulane said they had initially demanded 10.5% across the board.
“Last year, all legislatures across the country were given 8% salary increases across the board.
“We wanted to understand the rationale behind the Gauteng legislature’s decision for a much lower offer compared to last year,” Sekulane added.
He said they had reached a deadlock and had revised their offer to 8% across the board, but management still refused.
According to Sekulane, legislature secretary Peter Skosana conditionally offered 8% across the board to low-earning legislature staff members and 7.4% to middle-management staff, but Nehawu had rejected both offers.
He said that if they agreed to a lesser offer, Nehawu was likely to lose its membership substantially, as happened three years ago.