Bargaining Council Rules Against 130 Sacked City Of Joburg Workers.. . The SA Local Government Bargaining Council has dismissed the application brought on by the 130 former City of Joburg employees.
This, hours after the employees had successfully interdicted their employer from advertising their posts pending the outcome of the SALGBC decision.
The group submitted an urgent interdict after the city issued notices informing them of its intention to terminate their contracts at the end of April.
The 130 were initially employed as political support staff in the city but their contracts were later converted by the previous administration, which was led by the ANC, so that they became permanent employees.
Contracts for political staff are usually attached to the term of office of the political head and generally are not longer than five years.
Labour Court judge Connie Prinsloo also interdicted the municipality from implementing the February 25 decision that saw council rescind an October decision where fixed term contracts were converted permanently.
Bargaining Council commissioner Joseph Mphaphuli dismissed the application for alleged unfair dismissal.
According to Mphaphuli, the City of Joburg 130’s original contracts were meant to expire at the end of April, thus ruling out the possibility that they were unfairly dismissed.
The the group were given notices informing them their employment was expiring at the end of the month, that the posts would be advertised and people staff would be employed from the beginning of May.
Mphaphuli wrote: “Section 190 of the Labour Relations Act 66/1995 makes express provision that the date of dismissal where such is subject to notice, is it the date on which the notice expires. Accordingly, dismissal only becomes a fact on the date the notice of termination of employment ends the employment relationship.
“In the absence of an existing dispute which dispute can only into being when employment is physically terminated, there can be no dismissal at issue.”
Responding to the SALGBC, group corporate and shared services MMC Leah Knott said the ruling confirmed the coalition’s position that the case brought by the 130 employees whose fixed-term contracts were “illegally” converted to permanent.
“The Bargaining Council’s decision means that the interdict of the Labour Court falls away. Therefore, the city will proceed with the regularisation of contracts that will lapse at the end of this month.
“The ruling by the Bargaining Council is a victory for good governance, service delivery and the fight against corrupt practices in the city.
“As difficult of a process this might be for the affected employees, the Johannesburg multi-party government will always remain committed to upholding the rule of law, a cornerstone of our Constitutional Democracy,” Knott said.