In September 2016, the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) strongly opposed a restructuring process in the City of Cape Town that would have led to job losses and the depletion of much needed skills.
The City of Cape Town had given notice to 311 managerial personal, indicating that they faced possible retrenchment in the foreseeable future. IMATU immediately approached the City of Cape Town and requested engagement around this issue in a bid to prevent the loss of crucial jobs, institutional memory and skills.
“The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) appointed a senior commissioner to oversee this negotiation process and after only one round of facilitation, the Commissioner instructed the City to consider a placement and relocation process at a local level before it contemplated the retrenchment of employees,” explained Cape Town Regional Manager, Etienne Bruwer.
IMATU tabled a comprehensive proposal that provided the City of Cape Town with guidelines to place affected staff in appropriate positions, taking into account their previous skills and experience. “We believe that our proposal will significantly reduce staff losses, ensure a fair process of placement and considerably reduce the anxiety that the initial restructuring exercise has caused,” stated Bruwer.
The City of Cape Town indicated that it did not wish to enter into a collective agreement but was willing to review a formal memorandum of understanding that will embody the principles contained in IMATU’s proposal.
After IMATU’s intervention, 250 of the staff initially informed of possible retrenchment received notices of withdrawal. “As previously indicated, IMATU believes that the City was premature in initiating possible retrenchments, without exhausting internal processes to place staff correctly. We are cautiously optimistic of the agreed way forward and IMATU remains committed to protecting the interest of all affected members and preventing the loss of jobs. We will be monitoring the correct implementation of this processes in the coming months,” he concluded.