Picture: GCIS
Picture: GCIS

PARLIAMENT finds itself in yet another tight financial spot after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) ruled that the legislature should pay researchers salary increases, which are four years overdue, retrospectively.

The CCMA ruling on Monday means that Parliament will have to find up to R38m to pay Parliament’s researchers since a 2011 pay scale agreement was signed but never implemented.

According to a source, the ruling will also see researchers in Parliament go from earning about R650,000 per annum to over R700,000 per annum.

The original agreement to move Parliament’s researcher’s up to a higher pay scale category in the legislator’s system was agreed to during former secretary of Parliament Micheal Coetzee’s time.

CCMA commissioner Cecilia Brummer ruled that Parliament’s failure to implement the decision which Coetzee accented to constituted unfair labour practice. She ordered Parliament to implement the decision to rank researcher as level C4 retrospective from December 2010.

"The respondent is ordered to make a total payment to the 49 applicants, with retrospective effect from December 2010 of R38,481,366 to be made by 30 November 2016," Brummer wrote in her ruling.

The decision also puts pressure on the secretary of Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, in his current impasse with Nehawu.

Nehawu’s structures in Parliament held major strike action late last year over performance bonuses and staff grading. Mgidlana pleaded Parliament’s poverty at the union’s demands for performance bonuses consistent with staff members’ original performance grading.