ethekwiniThe Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is continuing in its fight to implement the Supreme Court of Appeal’s Judgement, regarding the validity of the 2007 eThekwini Conditions of Service, handed down on 17 September 2013.

“This dispute dates back to 2007, when the newly amalgamated eThekwini Municipality incorrectly implemented a set of divisional conditions of service. Many employees were disadvantaged by these conditions of service and lost benefits that they previously had, prior to the amalgamation of several separate municipal entities to form the eThekwini Municipality,” explained IMATU President, Stanley Khoza.

In 2007 IMATU successfully challenged the validity of the conditions of service in the Labour Court. The Municipality however, refused to revert to pre-2007 conditions of service and took the judgment on appeal. The Labour Appeal Court also upheld the previous judgement and the lengthy legal battle, was brought to a close in Bloemfontein, when the Supreme Court of Appeal also ruled in IMATU’s favour.

“The Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgment means that the 2007 divisional conditions of service are set aside and employees will now revert to those conditions of service that applied to them prior to 29 March 2007. All benefits that affected employees were receiving in terms of their contracts and conditions prior to March 2007 must be restored retrospectively,” outlined Khoza.

Representatives from organised labour and the eThekwini Municipality met to discuss the implementation of the court order. The Technical Task Team (TTT) was then formed whose objective was to identify all the allowances that existed before 1 April 2007. After the TTT presented its final report the employer tabled a settlement proposal with three scenarios which were rejected, and thereafter they tabled the following amended proposal:

Non-recovery of the monies paid in terms of Pay Parity.
Migrating all employees to former Durban City Conditions of Service with effect from 1 May 2014.
Paying all monies owed to eligible employees in terms of Ominbus Allowance following strictly the relevant Collective Agreement signed in 2005, taking into account the Prescription Act.
Crediting to all eligible employees all Long Service Leave Days that were due to them on their achieving relevant milestones from 30 April 2014 back to 1 April 2007.
Paying all monies owed to eligible employees in terms of Long Service Allowance, taking into account Prescription Act.
Payments will be effected on 23 May 2014.

IMATU is not wholly satisfied with the above proposal and will further negotiate around the areas of prescribed back pay, omnibus allowances, leave, shift allowances and overtime.

“IMATU will be meeting with the employer to discuss these issues in the hope that the parties will be able to bring this protracted ordeal to a close and give workers what is lawfully theirs,” concluded Khoza.