From the news desk

Parliament’s executive managers get millions in back pay

Share this article

Parliament’s executive managers have received more than R2-million in salary increases backdated to April last year – raising the ire of staff who say their bosses had previously agreed to forfeit such hikes because there was no money.

Last week 18 of parliament’s division managers, who earn between R1.5-million and R1.8-million a year, each took home at least R100,000 in back pay.

The managers, who run administrative and other functions for the legislature, have been demanding the increases since the beginning of the year.

Last year they agreed to forego the increases as part of measures to persuade ordinary staff and the National Health Education and Allied Workers’ Union to accept lower pay hikes.

But the managers pocketed the payout last week after persuading National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise that funds were now available in parliament’s salary budget owing to resignations and vacancies that had not been filled.

In a memo to Mbete and Modise from acting secretary to parliament Baby Tyawa, which the Sunday Times has seen, parliament’s top brass argued that they had not had a salary increase for the past three years.

Tyawa said this had led to “low morale among senior managers”, partly because some were now earning the same as their subordinates.

They also argued that they were feeling the pinch of new tax laws introduced last year, which had pushed them into higher tax brackets, while most of them were “running two households, one in Cape Town and the other in their home province”.

The memo said: “The decision not to increase their salaries therefore meant that the senior managers found themselves in a worse financial position than they were a year ago.”

Disang Mocumi, a Nehawu official in parliament, declined to comment.

Disgruntled staff said the payout last week amounted to managers reneging on their agreement last year, but parliament’s spokesman, Moloto Mothapo, rejected this view.

He said the understanding had always been that the increases would kick in as soon as additional money was found in the budget.

“There was no change of position. It was part of the plan that in the event of the National Treasury allocating additional amounts towards compensation of employees, the salary increases would be paid.”

He said that as employees of parliament, senior managers were entitled to annual cost-of-living salary adjustments. “This is not outside the norm.”

One unhappy staff member lower down the hierarchy, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said the back pay “essentially amounts to a windfall for them because last year they said they are forfeiting the increase”.

The staffer added: “So clearly they’ve reneged on that undertaking. So this means us as staff, we won’t be compromising on anything in this year’s negotiation.”

One of the managers, who also asked not be named, said it was misleading for people to suggest they did not deserve the increases because they were highly paid.

“There’s no windfall here. People are trying to tarnish our image so that political parties can describe us as greedy.

[Source: Times Live]
Share this article
WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.