13 December 2017 Read: 47
The term of office for municipal shop stewards will be extended from three years to five years following the amendment of the constitution, which has been referred to the Department of Labour for ratification.
The news was not well accepted in Tzaneen, because the three year term for office bearers has lapsed and ordinary members demanded that elections for the new leadership be held as soon as possible.
Though consensus was not reached regarding the status of South African Municipal Workers Unions (SAMWU) leaders, the matter was referred to a general meeting so it can be decided if the term of Tzaneen officials can be extended.
According to a secular issued by the provincial leadership to all regional leadership and shop stewards, this follows a resolution taken at the 11th national congress held in August 2015 in Durban “to amend the constitution to align the term of office for shop stewards and its structures with that of the term of office in the local government sector” reads the document.
“The resultant implications were that the terms of office of shop stewards and structures will be five years from the date of the finalisation of the amendments by the Central Executive Committee (CEC). The CEC of 5-7 May 2017 in Nelspruit received a report and adopted a resolution to the effect that constitutional amendments had been finalised and sent to the department of labour for ratification” added the document.
According to the secular ‘‘The net effect is that the term of office for shop stewards and structures will be five years from the last local government elections of 2016 coming to an end in 2021.” The Tzaneen shop stewards whose terms have expired will have to be extended with four more years until 2021. But the move was vetoed and was referred to a general meeting so a decision can be made.
The local SAMWU secretary, Patric Maake, said, when they received the secular informing them of the amendments, they had deemed it necessary that the matter be referred to the constituencies for a decision on the future of the local branch in view of the fact that their office time has expired. He said members have the right to remove a shop steward or the whole committee provided appropriate procedures were followed.
Also during the meeting it was announced that there will be a change in the conditions of employment for workers, which will include, the extension of medical leave from 90 and 160 days to 120 and 360 days respectively. Another change is in connection with the redemption of leave days from the normal eight days to 10 days with effect from 1 October 2017.
The new conditions mean workers will now get 120 days paid in full for sick leave and from then employees will have to be paid half until the days reach 160. After that time, no payment will be in effect. After these days are depleted, a worker will still be on the service without pay until about 360 days. The meeting also heard that there will be a change in overtime. The employer should always provide transport to work or reimburse workers for the costs incurred on their way to work. Also, there should be a specified number of hours to do overtime work and that those working standby, should be provided with cell phones to make their work easier.
In another development, Samwu will today (this Friday) converge at the Tzaneen swimming pool to celebrate their year end function with the new leadership issue shelved for next year.
— Jan Mafetsa