The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) condemns SANParks for insensitivity to implement an unbiased wage deal to our members, claiming funding has been declining year after year; therefore, they can afford to provide increases to our members.
SANParks being a schedule 3A of the National Treasury where the government should fund it for conservation purposes. However, SANParks management remains unshaken that due to Covid-19, the organisation has not been making revenue, reflecting that most of its revenue is from tourism. Based on their 2020/2021 projection, the guests were expected to come in January 2021, although the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations level only started in August, and steadily they accommodated overnight guests. This translate that SANParks did generate revenue.
It is well known that SANParks is looking into opening another national park in the Northern Cape, but they cannot afford to pay their workers what is due to them. Additionally, the SANParks negotiations have commenced on the 10 – 11 June 2021 for the final year 2021/22.
Our member’s demands are straightforward to achieve as we have been working on benchmarking, which is done by DEFF, but since Covid-19, such has been shelved in the carpet. The department is aware of the salary gap. The fact that SANParks salary on the lower band, particularly those under the bargaining unit, is below the market rate, confirmed by the CEO on the 4th of December 2020 on his Imbizo to the staff via MS.
Workers demand that wages be above the inflation considering the increment of medical aid in the last financial year and the current financial year where employees have last seen an increase in their salaries in the 2019/20 financial year. When it comes to band C, the cost to the company employees, demand for their packages include medical aid subsidy, danger allowance, and 13th cheque. Medical aid should be optional as constitutionally, members of the society have a right to consult where they believe in primary health care. We have BSP and EPWP workers funded by DEFF and now added with NDT renovation teams funded by the government; all three do not have medical aid benefits, which then applies that SANParks cannot claim to be caring and ensuring healthy employees since such is not determined by medical aid. Therefore what is done by the department to those employed under its funding should be consistent with what SANParks is doing, and that means medical aid should be a choice and not a must.
Furthermore, for employees who suffer a temporary disability, medical aid is taken off when they need it the most; therefore, the statement by the employer to be caring in which the employer alleges, cannot be seen in this regard.
We demand that the housing allowance be standard so that the gap between those who earn less and those who pockets more can be addressed. Because SANParks remunerates employees according to “the more you make, the higher is the medical aid and benefits you get”.
The uniform allowance is unacceptable as employees under band A and B are not getting the uniform or any budget to purchase; therefore, we demand the employer to abandon the allowance and ensure all employees get the uniform accordingly.
The above are the most burning issues, and for the employer to offer 1.5%, We view this as a slap on the face to our hard-working members.
For more information:
NUPSAW Media Officer
083 712 1614
T. C. Nemutanzhela
NUPSAW Provincial Organiser
081 362 5351