Un­paid work­ers given march­ing or­ders

Daily News - - METRO - SNE MASUKU sne.masuku@inl.co.za

SOME of the un­paid in­terns and vol­un­teers at the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Truro House of­fices in Dur­ban have been given their march­ing or­ders.

They had vol­un­teered their ser­vices for the past two years, long af­ter their con­tracts had ended, and were al­lowed to con­tinue to work with the hope that they would be given first pref­er­ence when the large num­ber of va­can­cies were ad­ver­tised.

Af­ter protest­ing for per­ma­nent posts, they were told this week that their ser­vices were no longer needed.

“Their let­ters of ap­point­ments in­di­cated when their con­tracts would end. They have over­stayed and were now ex­ploit­ing our good hearts by al­low­ing them to stay longer than ex­pected,” said depart­ment spokesper­son Muzi Mahlambi.

About 50 vol­un­teers were among the group of in­terns, most of whom worked in the hu­man re­sources and pay­roll de­part­ments, who downed tools last week.

They com­plained of the ex­ploita­tion of un­em­ployed grad­u­ates who filled the va­can­cies of em­ploy­ees who had died or re­signed.

The protest, which, ac­cord­ing to the Ed­u­ca­tors’ Union of South Africa (EUSA) was le­gal, ended pre­ma­turely as the num­ber of in­terns tak­ing part de­creased by the day.

Upon re­turn­ing to work, the in­terns were served with the let­ters.

Mahlambi said the depart­ment had writ­ten to them to in­form them that their ser­vices were no longer needed and that the depart­ment had no obli­ga­tion to them. The let­ter also said no vol­un­teers would be per­mit­ted to work at Truro House.

EUSA pres­i­dent Scelo Isaac Bhengu said it was ob­vi­ous that the let­ters were is­sued as a re­sult of the strike.

“The depart­ment kept (the vol­un­teers) be­cause they pro­vided a ser­vice for free.

“We are not go­ing to take this ly­ing down. The fight is on,” he said.

Last week EUSA al­leged that two of­fi­cials at Truro House had per­ma­nently hired a num­ber of peo­ple from among the in­terns and vol­un­teers.

The depart­ment said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing who had made the ap­point­ments as all po­si­tions were frozen in 2008.

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