De­part­ments ig­nore ar­bi­tra­tion or­ders

Sowetan - - News - By Bongani Nkosi ■ nkosib@sowe­tan.co.za

An axed public ser­vant won an or­der in 2013 to be re­in­stated, but she re­mains home to this day.

Ac­cord­ing to her sub­mis­sion to the Public Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC), the govern­ment’s non-im­ple­men­ta­tion of her ar­bi­tra­tion award has turned her life up­side down.

The worker and her two chil­dren of­ten go to bed on empty stom­achs. Her home got re­pos­sessed, med­i­cal aid and ed­u­ca­tion poli­cies got can­celled.

“Fi­nan­cial bankruptcy gives me con­stant ten­sion [and] headaches,” she told the PSC, a statu­tory public ser­vice watch­dog. “Emo­tion­ally, I’m just a nervous wreck, eas­ily stressed and frus­trated ...”

This civil ser­vant can­not be named for fear of fur­ther reprisals. She was fired in 2006, and ar­bi­tra­tion found in her favour in 2013.

Her story is one of the 260 cases in the PSC’s re­port that in­ves­ti­gated govern­ment’s re­sis­tance to re­in­state em­ploy­ees dis­missed un­fairly.

The 260 make up 25% of work­ers that de­part­ments, both na­tional and pro­vin­cial, re­sisted to re­in­state.

A total of 784, or 75%, of the em­ploy­ees were re­in­stated after win­ning their cases. How­ever, 25% were not so lucky.

Moira Marais-Martin, the PSC’s com­mis­sioner in North­ern Cape, said the de­part­ments act with im­punity by sim­ply not im­ple­ment­ing the ar­bi­tra­tion awards. In other cases they de­lay im­ple­men­ta­tion by tak­ing cases to re­view.

Some work­ers be­lieved their se­niors were stalling their re­in­state­ment out of vin­dic­tive­ness, said Marais-Martin.

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