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Media Release: South African National Parks strike update

Date: 19th March 2012

As the South African National Parks (SANParks) workers strike enters its 6th week, SANParks says talks with the representatives of the strikers during two meetings held, were fruitless as the representatives were intransigent, unreasonable and maintained demands that require the organisation to adjust salaries and related allowances by between 78-1200%. The strike is currently affecting the Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage site in Limpopo.

This is according to SANParks’ Managing Executive: Human Resources, Leonard Mavuso, who said the organisation will still stick to the principle of no work no pay. “This means anybody who is taking part in this strike must expect to lose their salary for as long as they are participating in the strike.” 

The strike which started on 3 February 2012 with approximately 360 staff members, mainly field rangers relates to issues of salary disparity and is not supported by the two officially recognised unions which are Health and Other Service Trade Union South Africa (HOSPERSA) and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU). 

According to Mavuso, SANParks has started talks with the two recognised unions in an effort to address salary parity and related labour issues. Management has during a series of meetings with the representatives of the strikers and recognised unions demonstrated that it has over the past few years effected above inflation and reasonable salary adjustments to employees who are in the bargaining unit as depicted in the Tables below:

2010/2011 financial year

BAND% SALARY ADJUSTMENTS RANGING FROM
A 6.5 - 13.58
B1 6.5 - 17.92
B2 6.5 - 21.02
B3 6.5 - 19.92
B4 6.5 - 23.77
B5 6.5 - 40.39

2011/2012 financial year

BAND% SALARY ADJUSTMENTS RANGING FROM
A 6 - 25.30
B1 6 - 20.00
B2 6 - 15.75
B3 6 - 15.88
B4 6 - 22.78
B5 6 - 17.00

In an unprecedented move, SANParks together with HOSPERSA and SACCAWU have established a Joint Bargaining Forum for collective bargaining purposes. This means all labour issues will as such now be negotiated jointly at this forum which is meant to improve dialogue and agreement.  

He said in one of the scheduled meetings between SANParks, HOSPERSA and the representatives of the striking employees, the representatives refused to discuss strike related issues in the presence of HOSPERSA and the meeting had to be called off. The union subsequently withdrew from a follow up meeting due to the uncooperative and disrespectful behaviour of the representatives of the striking employees. “However the organisation would like to reiterate its position that it will only negotiate salaries with the recognised unions that represents the majority of its employees. Currently joint discussions are continuing with the recognised union that represent a majority of employees in the bargaining unit. Hence, it is advisable for the strikers who represent 5% of SANParks’ staff compliment to return to work as their strike is not serving its intended purpose.” 

Mavuso said SANParks also condemns the unlawful acts of violence, rioting and intimidation of non-striking members and tourists committed by some of the strikers and added that the organisation obtained a court order prohibiting strikers from committing unlawful acts.

In conclusion Mavuso urged those staff members who wish to return to work to do so without fear of intimidation. 

Issued by:
Communications Division, South African National Parks

Media enquiries:
Reynold Thakhuli – GM: Media Liaison & Stakeholder Relations, SANParks, 
Tel: (012) 426 5170, Cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org 

 

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