Monday, December 6, 2021

Aggrieved WUC employees appeal to PS for salary intervention

Scores of Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) employees who have gone for more than a decade without receiving a salary increment have appealed to Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Permanent Secretary Kgomotso Abi for intervention.

In a letter dated April 22, the employees requested the Permanent Secretary to help address issues concerning their welfare, especially salary increments and cost of living adjustments.

“The employees seek your intervention as they are aggrieved by having waited for over thirteen (13) years without any cost of living adjustment as both Water Utilities Corporation management and National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union have not been forthcoming with any information regarding the matter”.

The employees filed a complaint to the Permanent Secretary that their salaries were last increased in 2002 and have not been paid performance rewards since 2012.

The disgruntled employees allege that WUC management issued a staff notice on August 28, 2012 informing staff it will not be possible to pay performance rewards that year as is usual and expected. The reason given was that the PMS report had to be first discussed by the management. However, nothing has been forthcoming according to the aggrieved employees.

“On 20th August, 2013 WUC through the office of the Human resources Director and Administration wrote to all staff informing them that performance rewards for the year 2012/13 will be paid during the October 2013 payroll but that was never paid,” states the letter to the Permanent Secretary.

The Telegraph is in possession of an internal memo to all staff dated 20 August, 2013 from the Human Resource and Administration director, Matlhogonolo Mponang informing members of staff that performance rewards for the performance year 2012/13 will be paid during the October 2013 payroll.

“On a different but related note, all employees are urged to prepare and sign agreements/contracts for this current year with their supervisors by end of August 2013. As per previous communication, the deadline for submission of performance agreements was July 2013 and to date the submission rate is still low. All performance agreements must therefore be submitted to the OD section by end of August 2013”, wrote Mponang.

In august 2012, the then corporation chief executive officer who has since been replaced by Leonard Nxumalo issued another internal memo to all members of staff regarding resolution on the 2011 salaries implementation exercise. In the memo, he notified staff that through a staff notice dated 7 August, 2012 it was undertaken to the matter in the September 2012 payroll.

“Members are informed that due to further engagement on the matter with relevant stakeholders, it will not be possible to resolve this matter in the September 2012 payroll as was previously communicated. Members will be informed of the date of the resolution of this matter in due course once all engagements have been completed”, wrote Mudanga.

The other complaints besieging the corporation are from employees with tertiary qualifications in the Customer Service and Accounts Receivables departments who claim their salary bands have been downgraded.

In a letter to Nxumalo dated 25th March 2015, the affected employees requested the CEO to reinstate them to appropriate grading.

In reply, Nxumalo drew the affected employees (Customer Care Officers’) attention to his staff memo of 18 December, 2014 that put in abeyance all matters relating to assessment and/or review of jobs pending implementation of the new strategy by the board of directors by January 2015.

The CEO further advised the aggrieved to take up the matter with the Department of Labour and Social Security in the event they are dissatisfied with his answer.

The officers have requested to be reinstated to Band 4 claiming that most of them are professionals in possession of diploma and degree certificates.

In their letter to the CEO, they complained against service maladministration arguing that they have been lumped in the same salary grading with Meter Readers, Drivers, Administration Assistants, Labourers and Cleaners.
They question they criterion that was used to downgrade them despite that they hold tertiary qualifications.

The employees further claim that they understand that the new strategy was adopted by the board of directors and are disappointed that management is not implementing the strategy as directed by the board.
Cabinet is also understood to have approved the new strategy and implored the parent ministry to fund the new strategy.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper