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City college in row over staff benefits

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The employees accused management of not paying them their full benefits in 2009 and 2010, which has resulted in their salary notches being affected.

A GROUP of academic and support staff at the Northern Cape Urban TVET College held a meeting with management yesterday to discuss the alleged non-payment of benefits.

The employees consisted of staff from the Moremogolo Campus as well as the City Campus.

The employees accused management of not paying them their full benefits in 2009 and 2010, which has resulted in their salary notches being affected.

“We found out that we were supposed to receive 37% in benefits. However, the employer in 2009 only paid us 10% of the required 37% and then only 22% in 2010. It was only in 2011 that we were paid the full 37%. We have not received the outstanding balance owed for those two years and management has not been able to shed any light on the non-payment of the outstanding amount or even why they only paid us a portion of the entire percentage.”

They said that they were made aware of the matter when they received the circular in July this year. “It is only now that we realised that we were not paid in full. We immediately started communicating and made management aware of the problem. They were, however, giving us the run-around and claimed that the problem was with the Department of Higher Education.”

The employees said that they were eventually told that the benefit was not a right and that the college was not obliged to pay them. “The fact that they paid us has created the expectancy,” they said.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), which represented the employees at the meeting, said that the employer unsuccessfully tried to pass on the blame to the Department of Higher Education and the previous board.

The union’s regional organiser, Mlawuli Nguye, said that a resolution to the matter would be addressed at the next council meeting.

“The management indicated that they will have a special council meeting to discuss whether the 37% was a right.

“Our argument is that if they never intended to give employees that benefit why did they then start giving it in portions.

“The college shifted the responsibility to higher education and the latter said the decision on the benefits was taken by the then board.

“We are aware that the persons who served on that board are no longer there.

“The college is now responsible for the discrepancy. This discrepancy has affected the salaries of staff and management must pay what is owed to their staff,” said Nguye.

Nguye added that they would allow management sufficient time to respond.

The principal of the college, Elizabeth Musi, said that she did not want to comment on the matter.

“Several clients have contacted the DFA to highlight the good we do at the college the DFA only wants a response on the bad. I do not want to comment,” said Musi.

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