KNYSNA NEWS - Knysna Municipality South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members working at the community services directorate picketed outside the municipality's offices on Wednesday 24 February, demanding personal protective equipment (PPE) and overtime dating back from 2019.
According to Samwu branch chair Shaun Kralo, their grievances include that community services workers do not have PPE and that some workers have received overtime remuneration while others have not.
"We have been promised that by Monday, all workers will have received their PPE, but if that is not happening we will come here again," he said. They also demanded that the overtime be paid to workers by Friday 26 February.
After a meeting with the Samwu leader, portfolio head Welcome Salaze and Acting Municipal Manager Dawie Adonis reported to the gathering.
They said the issue of PPE is important. "I heard that your PPE should have been here this morning, but the manager informed me that they will come tomorrow," Adonis said. "What we agreed on with the leadership is to rather inform you that PPE will be here on Monday. To be safe, let us say on Monday the PPE will be here." It has since been confirmed that the workers did receive their PPE.
He said they were instructed by the directors that workers must receive two sets of PPE a year.
"We can't negotiate the issue of PPE because that is your right. I don't know why we can't make sure that we issue PPE timeously." He said he was aware that there are casuals who also do not have PPE and that this poses a risk to him in his position. "If anything happens to you they will lock me up," he said.
Addressing the matter of overtime, Adonis confirmed that some workers of the department had received their overtime while others did not.
"The staff want their overtime by Friday. My request is for the managers to work with the leadership to calculate the time. Also I don't want to give a commitment I cannot fulfil; all I know is that our payroll will not be able to do any calculation as salaries are paid out on Thursday," he said.
Adonis said it was agreed with Samwu leadership to finalise the matter a week later, on Friday 5 March, in order to give payroll staff enough time to do calculations. "We will meet with leadership on Tuesday to finalise this. It will be unrealistic to pay workers this Friday," he said. At the time this article was published, no information about this meeting was available.
Adonis said Samwu leadership also brought other issues to his attention and these would be dealt with.
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