Over­worked SABC ed­i­tors go to CCMA

CityPress - - News - HLENGIWE NH­LA­BATHI hlengiwe.nh­la­bathi@city­press.co.za

Four “over­worked” SABC as­sign­ment ed­i­tors have taken their bosses to the Com­mis­sion for Con­cil­i­a­tion, Me­di­a­tion and Ar­bi­tra­tion (CCMA), de­mand­ing se­nior po­si­tions and bet­ter ben­e­fits equal to the work­load they were forced to take on since the broad­caster launched its 24-hour news chan­nel about two years ago.

City Press has learnt that the four ed­i­tors in the Joburg of­fice are un­der im­mense pres­sure and un­happy about their in­creas­ing work­load as a re­sult of “in­com­pe­tence” in some of the other re­gions.

Work is said to be piling up on them while they get paid less than other col­leagues who work in the same po­si­tions around the coun­try.

“They are act­ing as de facto cen­tral desk ed­i­tors,” said an in­sider.

The four are Crosby Amos, Clive Goven­der, Faith Daniels and Ronel van Zyl.

Their at­tempts to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment with the public broad­caster were re­jected this week.

Ac­cord­ing to three in­sid­ers, their fight, which could force the SABC to cre­ate new po­si­tions of na­tional as­sign­ment ed­i­tors, could re­sult in head of news Jimi Matthews be­ing sub­poe­naed by the CCMA when the case gets un­der way next month.

The group asked for bet­ter pay but was told there were bud­getary con­straints. The four want back­pay for ad­di­tional du­ties per­formed from the day they took on their new unof­fi­cial roles. For some, this dates back to 2011.

“They were told to take over be­cause man­age­ment re­alised the re­gional ed­i­tors could not do the work,” said an in­sider.

Pres­i­dent of the Broad­cast­ing, Elec­tronic, Media and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union Hannes du Buis­son said the dis­pute was not based on get­ting po­si­tions, but the group was per­form­ing and de­served to be re­warded ac­cord­ingly.

He said the SABC had ex­pressed con­cern about be­ing forced to change its or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture to ac­com­mo­date the group’s re­quest.

All the par­ties spent Wed­nes­day de­bat­ing whether the CCMA had ju­ris­dic­tion over the mat­ter or not.

The SABC ar­gued that the labour court had the au­thor­ity to me­di­ate in the mat­ter, but this was re­jected.

Du Buis­son said this was the first case of its kind and could set a prece­dent for other work­ers who were short-changed by their em­ploy­ers while they bat­tled with piles of work they were not con­tracted to do.

“You can’t em­ploy peo­ple in roles and, when they com­plain [about do­ing ex­tra work], you say it’s mess­ing up the or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture and there will be salary anom­alies.

“If that is your ar­gu­ment, then get peo­ple in re­gions to do what they are sup­posed to do,” said Du Buis­son.

“They have more re­spon­si­bil­ity than their coun­ter­parts in other re­gions.

“They are do­ing more se­nior work and must get a se­nior salary.”

He said he was con­fi­dent of vic­tory but that, in the mean­time, he hoped his mem­bers would not be vic­timised for “such a sim­ple mat­ter”.

“The CCMA is there to deal with these things. We are con­fi­dent we are right. If you per­form a role, then you must be recog­nised,” he said.

SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago could not be reached for com­ment.

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