Strike threat at NYDA over 'illegal' and 'discriminatory' pay increases

Strike threat at NYDA over 'illegal' and 'discriminatory' pay increases.
Strike threat at NYDA over 'illegal' and 'discriminatory' pay increases.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) stands on the brink of mass strike action by employees affiliated to the National Health and Allied Workers Union.

This after allegations that management unfairly increased their own salaries and that of their core staff.

In a leaked letter purported to have been sent to the agency’s acting CEO Waseem Carrim‚ the union threatened to embark on rolling mass action if their demands for convening of an urgent bargaining forum‚ among other things‚ was not met.

The union is up in arms after it discovered that some employees at the executive director’s office also allegedly received pay increases‚ while this was not applied across the board.

In a letter to the agency’s employees seen by the publication‚ NYDA board chairman Sifiso Mtsweni refuted the allegations‚ saying that the employees at executive director’s office were on fixed-term contracts and not enjoying other benefits‚ hence their pay increases.

“We also wish to indicate that also due to the nature of the contracts of the executive director’s office‚ these staff members are not unionised and their working conditions include working on weekends and after-hours.

“It is in this regard that the HRR Committee as well the Board of Directors resolved to alter their contracts to take these matters into account including salary adjustments linked to the Board’s term of office‚” Mtsweni said.

However‚ the union hit back‚ saying that the employees view the actions of management illegal and discriminatory. They also threatened to challenge them in court.

“A number of employees are employed under the same conditions as explained in the email by the employer. Why are they not included in the rationale and‚ ultimately‚ the resolution of the HRR committee of the Board?” part of the union’s letter to the management reads.

The publication understands that the union further demanded that it be presented with a copy of the committee’s resolution and that it makes a presentation at the committee’s meeting this week.

Commenting on the allegations‚ Carrim told the publication that the decision for the hike in the salaries of the particular employees was taken by the Board’s sub-committee and was for staff members in political offices.

“Those staff members have terms of office which are aligned to the board of directors terms of office. Their terms and conditions of employment are different to the normal employees at the NYDA‚” he said.

He said that the agency was not worried that any strike action might be looming as management was still engaging with the employees.