Newsletter of the Internal Staff Association (ISA) Branch of SAPTU – May 2016

Dear ISA members


At the BLRF meeting on 4 May 2016, the following issues were discussed


ASWN negotiations


The Employer initially offered a 6,8% salary increase (6,6% projected inflation + 0,2% = 6,8%). Following negotiations, Labour moved their demand to 9% and the Employer moved to 7%. The employer said circumstances that have placed them on the back foot include the current funding model which is causing financial problems.


Negotiations will continue next week on 12 May 2016.


Dispute demands

It was previously reported that the Employer had rejected a number of demands outright and the unions therefore declared a dispute. These demands included:

  • 13th cheque
  • Inclusion of the D band into the bargaining unit
  • Working week: change from 80 hours (over 2 weeks) to 40 hours (over one week)
  • Core skills allowance to be increased to 12% for all categories
  • Maternity leave to be increased to 6 months
  • Review of long service awards
  • Rural allowance to be increased by % increase and to cover both technical and non technical workers
  • Shift allowance: R45.00 or 40% of hourly rate whichever is greater
  • Review of shop stewards’ leave
  • Danger allowance of R500 (for drivers, receiving clerks, messengers, cleaners and any other job categories potentially exposed to infectious organisms)
  • Health and safety representatives allowance of R1000

Labour has now requested the Employer to detail its position on each of the above issues in dispute in the form of a draft agreement, to be debated at the next BLRF meeting.


Labour made it clear that it aims to conclude the ASWN negotiations by the end of May 2016.


Other issues discussed were about the


Payscale adjustments


SARS letter

This issue concerns those workers who paid tax on overpaid salary adjustments and now have to repay the organisation. Labour has requested the Employer to clarify how these excess tax payments to SARS will be repaid to staff. The Employer promised to circulate the letter as soon as possible.


Debt acknowledgement and repayment: To those staff who cannot afford the repayment terms stipulated by the Employer, please engage with your local HR to negotiate reasonable terms and payment period. Repayment terms cannot be dictated by the Employer.


Questions and answers and HR roadshows

Labour sent HR a number of questions received from members. The first series of questions and answers concerned back pay issues and was distributed as a Newsflash General Communication on Wednesday 4 May. The second series on proficiency will be issued on Wednesday 11 May, to be followed by a third series of remaining questions and answers.


HR regional managers are undertaking roadshows to discuss and clarify various issues of the reward and remuneration project. According to the Employer, HR regional staff has been well informed on these issues and are conversant in answering questions. However, ISA has had complaints of HR not being able to answer questions satisfactorily or making themselves unavailable. Please let us know of such cases so that we can bring it to the Employer’s attention.



This long-deferred issue has a negative impact on the morale of our long serving staff. The employer has given the deadline as October 2016 and noted Labour’s request to speed up the process. Expert task teams will be established to look at performance differentiation. Proposed timelines for the process will be drawn up in the next few days.


Investigation into the errors of the pay scale implementation

Labour insisted that the Employer needs to establish what went wrong and who should be held accountable for the errors. The Employer said without clear terms of reference, this exercise could become a blame-game. Labour should draft a written proposal as to how they would like the investigation to be approached.


D band salary scale implementation

D band staff is petitioning that their interests are not being addressed by management. Tense relations exist between D band managers and their C band subordinates who, in several cases, are now earning more. The Employer has undertaken to implement the D-band salary scale adjustment in July, back paid to April 2016. Labour believes this is unfair and should be back paid to April 2015. Labour also requested that the payment be brought forward to June. The Employer stated that the D band salary scale implementation does not rest with the Executive or HR but with the Remuneration and HR Committee of the Board; this committee is meeting on 18 May to discuss the D band implementation. The Employer stated that maturity and understanding is expected from D band staff.


Lab clerks – B2 and B4

The issue of some lab clerks being graded B2 and others B4 was raised by Labour and it was noted that it constituted unequal pay for equal work. The Employer said lab clerks had been weighted as B2, and acknowledged the discrepancies and dissatisfaction amongst these staff. This issue will be dealt with separately at a forthcoming BLRF meeting.