The South African National Parks (SANParks) management confirmed that a number of employees, who are members of the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA), have abandoned their work stations in different divisions in the Parks.
The strike action follows after efforts by the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) failed to resolve the salary dispute between the two parties.
According to SANParks Head of Communications, Janine Raftopoulos, SANParks revised its offer to 6.1 percent plus 1 percent pay progression to qualifying employees, which totals to 7.1 percent.
Furthermore, a once-off ex-gratia payment of 0.4 percent on the basic salary will be paid to qualifying employees, excluding the 222 employees who do not qualify for pay progression, Raftopoulos said.
Raftopoulos said the 222 employees will receive a once-off ex-gratia payment of 1 percent on the basic salary.
We want to put it on record that the increase has already been processed and workers will receive those payments at the end of July, and the once off ex-gratia payment to qualifying employees as well as the 1 percent will be effected at the end of August.
As management we were hopeful that the employees would accept the offer just like NEHAWU members did. We deem the offer as fair but unfortunately HOSPERSA members decided to withhold their labour which is their right, however we hope they will adhere to the picketing rules which were agreed upon to by both parties and are binding.
We have seen disruptive behaviour at SANParks Head Office (Groenkloof), Phalaborwa and Orpen gates in the Kruger National Park. Management has requested the Union to immediately intervene, failing which, an application for an interdict will be lodged to stop unruly behaviour and seek adherence to the rules by HOSPERSA members, said Raftopoulos.
There were reports of interruptions in some camps in the KNP namely Orpen, Berg en Dal and Shingwedzi.
An insignificant number of workers are participating in the industrial action thus far and management has activated their contingency plans.
Guests travelling to any of our parks should continue with their plans as we aim to ensure that they enjoy their stay, Raftopulos said.
Source: South African Government News Agency