Today the Council unanimously passed the payment of back-pay in Long Service Bonuses (LSB) totalling R44.9 million, ending an impasse that the previous administration failed to address for nearly 18 years.
The decision taken in council finally resolves an issue that ultimately led to destructive industrial action that severely disrupted municipal services. There were also incidents of unacceptable destruction of municipal infrastructure for which the individual perpetrators will be prosecuted as this was and never is part of any authorised industrial action.
This strike also had personal financial consequences for striking workers and the rule of “no work no play” has been collectively negotiated to settle over a period of four months to minimise the financial burden.
This kind of strike action and concomitant action consequences for all involved should always be a matter of last resort and be avoided where possible.
In the above regard, Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip invited the two labour unions to the Council meeting and to an informal meeting with himself and executive members of the coalition government. The meeting was most cordial and very constructive indeed. Trollip also publicly thanked all the stakeholders who had negotiated and resolved the impasse.
Furthermore, the Council rescinded its previous resolution pertaining to the LSB dated 30 November 2017, that:
- the once-off payment to 2485 employees hereby be approved.
- that the amount paid be accrued as soon as it is paid to recipients to the 2017-18 financial year, as a prior year’s event
- that all directorates identify suitable budget to cover the costs as per the Settlement Agreement in the 2017-18 financial year, in order to avoid an unauthorised expenditure being incurred and Section 32 Reports having to be prepared.
The financial implications of this unbudgeted agreement will have to be addressed by ensuring improved revenue collection, ensuring value for money from all municipal service providers especially external consultants and contractors, and avoiding any wasteful expenditure.
The Municipality and the unions agreed that payment should be effected before the 15th of July 2018 to settle the matter.