Disgruntled workers from seven Central Johannesburg Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) branches blocked the college’s entrance in Parktown on Monday‚ demanding pay progression.
The college‚ which is preparing for graduations on Friday and exams next week‚ was disrupted by angry workers who claimed they have waited for three years.
“Graduations on Friday will not happen if we are not paid what is due to us. Same thing will happen with the exams‚ we will keep all TVET colleges closed‚” threatened the workers who had camped outside the college gate.
Florence Vanqa‚ 63‚ said she has been with the college for 30 years. “I started working here in 1987 as a cleaner and was promoted to be a receptionist in 1997‚ but I still get paid the same salary as a cleaner.
“That is an insult because I have a family to take care of. Now they don’t want to pay us the money that was signed for in 2015‚” Vanqa said.
“If you come late it’s a problem but if the [manager’s] secretary is late then everything is fine. We don’t even know how was she employed because we were told that we over-staff‚” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the workers‚ Elvis Mathsa‚ 42‚ said they have been fighting for their monies for three years.
“Before migration of colleges in February 2015 we were under the college council‚ so when the department took over a resolution was taken for workers to receive pay progression. That has never happened.
“We have tried to meet with Desmond April who is the principal of these colleges but he said he won’t listen to a black person‚” Mathsa claimed. There was a scuffle between April and the workers‚ who accused him of being a racist.
April said the workers were on an illegal unprotected strike. “When I arrived this morning the gates were locked. Workers are complaining about their monies that have been outstanding since April 1 2015 when the department migrated the colleges. A resolution was made by the department – not the college. His (Mathsa’s) version is incorrect. That is all I can say‚” April said.
– The Sowetan
Source: TMG Digital.