Nehawu members. Picture: THULANI MBELE/SOWETAN
Nehawu members. Picture: THULANI MBELE/SOWETAN

PARLIAMENTARY staff represented by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) downed tools on Thursday to picket, claiming the legislature’s management intends to dock staff salaries for days not worked during last year’s industrial action, citing the "no work, no pay" principle.

The chairman of Nehawu’s parliamentary branch, Sthembiso Tembe, told Business Day that secretary of Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana wanted to impose pay deductions for days that the union’s members were on strike as well as days when they were locked out of Parliament between November 25 and December 5 last year.

Nehawu members picketed at one of the entrances of Parliament under the watchful eye of law enforcement on Thursday morning.

Tembe said the union would oppose pay deductions for the days during which its members were not allowed into Parliament.

"There was an agreement. We are not against ‘no work, no pay’, but it must be transparent. We must agree on the number of days and we still need to do that. It’s not the first time he has deducted from our salaries," said Tembe.

He added that the deductions, if imposed as per Mgidlana’s wishes, would be for close to nine days of no work and would range from R900 to R7,000, depending on the affected worker’s category.

Disciplinary proceedings are still under way against staff members who also hold leadership positions in the union.

Parliament last week lost a case at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and must now pay R38m to Parliamentary researchers, owed retrospectively from 2010, as well as increase their wages.