NISA Newsletter of the Internal Staff Association (ISA) Branch of SAPTU – Feb 2017 (2)

Dear ISA members
Our BLRF representative, Sugan Marrimuthu, reports back from the meeting on 27 February and gives us a look at what the unions will be negotiating for in this year’s wage negotiations.
1. HR Organograms

Labour has put an objection in to the new HR Structure, stating that it is inflated and that new posts at lower critical core levels are not being created. They have requested that no new posts be created at corporate level. Labour requested two months to submit a firm proposal to the employer on the HR organograms. Labour also requested that the insourcing issues should not be put on hold whilst the submission is being prepared.

2. The Disciplinary and Grievance Policy

This was discussed but labour and management did not see eye to eye on some of the changes proposed by labour. It was suggested by labour that there be a two-day workshop to deal solely with policies as they need to be tackled line by line.

3. Grade and Salary Discrepancies

Labour mentioned 3 categories of staff that need to be resolved urgently:

a) Phlebotomy technicians vs phlebotomist – labour feels that these two groups perform the same tasks but are paid vastly differently. The employer has agreed to investigate the claim made by labour and if the job is the same, it was suggested that the new job be evaluated to encompass both functions.

b) Laboratory managers and supervisors will be part of another project which is being undertaken by the employer. The matrices have been done and must be agreed to by the Board. Once agreed, the BLRF will be consulted on the process. We should have feedback at the next BLRF sitting.

4. Core Skills Allowance

According to the employer, the core skills allowances have been processed and finalized. This agreement as per BLRF was at the time for A-C and D1 managers were also included. Labour has made a submission that in their proposal they omitted the other statutory bodies and requested the employer to consider the SANC registration as well. This will be taken to RHRC for approval and they sit on the 16 March 2017.

For D band and above, labour has tabled their inclusion in the BLRF and we hope that we can have a settlement on this proposal.

5. Proficiency Agreement Implementation

The process has been stalled a bit in light with the Board meeting urgently to deal with other issues. The next meeting is on 16 March 2017. In this meeting, the HR Executive will request that those staff involved in the project work full time on the implementation of the proficiency. When this happens the project plan will be released to the staff i.e. the start and end date will be finalized. Because of the numbers, the medical technologists and medical technicians will be prioritised, followed by the others.

6. Proficiency Pay Progression – General and Management

Labour proposed the following to the employer for consideration and presentation to RHRC:

· Removal of 3-5 year category
· 6-10 years: 1% adjustment of salary
· 11-15 years: 2% adjustment of salary PLUS R5000 once-off
· 16-20 years: 3% adjustment of salary PLUS R10 000 once-off
· 21 years and above: 3.6% adjustment of salary PLUS R15 000 once-off
It is also our submission that the years of service should be uninterrupted years of service in the NHLS.

7. Debt letters for monies owed as the result of the implementation of the R&R project.

Labour has motivated that the monies owed by staff be cancelled as it was an error on the part of the employer. This submission is to be proposed to the RHRC by the HR Executive on 2 March 2017. Meanwhile the employer was asked to stop the letters to members until we get feedback from the RHRC meeting.

8. The 13th cheque prorate payment

This was implemented for all retirees.

9. Miscellaneous Deductions

In February 2017, staff experienced a deduction that reduced their take home pay. The deduction that took place was as a result of the 13th cheque not being taxed in December 2016.The employer has said that in some cases where the deduction was high, they paid back the monies to the employee so that it did not impact severely on their salary. These staff must contact their local HR once they have received a letter from the employer to make special repayment arrangements. The employer is to send a General Communication to all staff by Friday.


The HPCSA fees were not paid to staff in February 2017 as per agreement. The employer is awaiting feedback from HPCSA with regard to the fees. Once this is received a payment will be made.

11. Working Hours (40/45 hours per week)

Labour proposed the pilot be put on hold until consultation with their members. They also proposed a task team be set up to go to sites that are small and big and wide spread to check what the concerns of staff are and how the rosters are done and how the claims are done. The task teams should comprise of labour and management. The logistics of these processes to be discussed between labour and management.

Wage negotiations 2017/18: consolidated demands submitted to the employer

Scope of bargaining unit
§ The scope to include employees from Grade A to Grade D5

Term of agreement
§ Single term

Salary adjustment
§ 13% across the board

Medical aid
§ Adjustment of the maximum subsidy to R3000 per month.

Housing allowance
§ R2000 per month

Shift allowance
R50. 00 or 45% of hourly rate whichever is the greater

Danger allowance
§ R500 per month
§ Includes drivers, receiving clerks, messengers, cleaners and any other job categories potentially exposed to infectious organisms.

a) Paternity leave increased to 5 days and separate it from family responsibility leave
b) Shop stewards leave increase to 10 days (pooled)

Fulltime shop stewards
One (1) Fulltime shop steward per province

Core skills allowance
§ Increase to 10% and extend to include all those registrable with Statutory Health Councils. E.g. SANC, Pharmacy Council, HPCSA.

Rural Allowance
§ Allowance be implemented in all areas that are classified as rural areas by government for purpose of state employees

Statutory Council annual fee
§ Must be paid directly to the statutory council