Telkom has submitted a proposal to resolve salary disparities among employees in two of its divisions, trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday.
“Employees’ discontentment over the salary disparities has reached boiling point, but Telkom’s new proposal is a clear indication that the company recognises the seriousness of the situation and realises that a solution must be found urgently,” Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said in a statement.
Kleynhans said Telkom had submitted a new proposal for resolving serious salary disparities among employees in Telkom’s mobile cellular network operator (MCNO) office (previously the Merlot project) and the largest single unit in the company, the data advance services (DAS) unit.
“Though all of these employees are on the OP1 grade level in Telkom and a large majority of employees in the DAS unit are also expected to do specialised work for the clients of the MCNO on a regular basis, certain MCNO employees receive much better salaries and benefits.”
He said in terms of Telkom’s new proposal, submitted to Solidarity last week, employees were divided into four separate categories according to which the salary discrepancies had to be rectified.
The new proposal determined that employees in Category A (employees who have worked on the Merlot project/MCNO office since 2008, but who do not receive the agreed remuneration); Category B (employees who have joined the MCNO office since 2008 and perform all MCNO functions, but who do not receive the agreed remuneration); and Category C (employees in the DAS unit who are qualified and who perform the full job specification of MCNO projects) would be placed on the correct salary level as soon as possible.
“In addition, the cases of all employees who believe they have been excluded from the salary adjustment unfairly will be investigated on a case-by-case basis in order to eliminate any remaining salary disparities in these two units.”
According to Kleynhans, the members must consider these proposals first. He stressed that although the proposals would not necessarily benefit all employees immediately, Telkom’s commitment to finding a solution to the dispute had become more evident.
“Telkom has admitted that there are salary disparities in the rest of the company and that a comprehensive solution must be found for the problem.”
Solidarity welcomed Telkom’s recognition of the problem. “Telkom now recommends that a job evaluation process must be implemented to rectify the disparities.”
He explained that the Merlot project had been initiated a number of years ago to deal with the maintenance of the decentralised network to some of SA’s largest companies. “Apart from this, the DAS unit is responsible for, among other things, the maintenance of companies’ switchboards and the maintenance of data transmission lines.”
There were around 1 000 employees in the DAS unit, Kleynhans said. — Sapa