IN response to a letter written by a "Concerned resident" about the idleness of workers in the collection department of budget and treasury ("Go-slow hampers recovery of debt", August 29), if this misinformation is not addressed it has a potential to be treated as the truth by those who read it, not knowing the exact happenings within that department.
The workers in the said department have a dispute with the employer around their grades and through their union as far back as 2009 have raised this matter with the relevant authorities, but have always been met with arrogance.
After numerous deliberations between the employer and the workers there was still no lasting resolution until it culminated in picket actions around August last year. After the employer again had discussions with the workers there was an agreement that their issues would be addressed through the mayoral task team with the last interaction being between the acting director: corporate services and the workers in July.
Even in that engagement the director was committing that as the employer they are trying to resolve the matters. The workers in the department have long since committed themselves to performing their duties fully while awaiting such a solution from the employer.
At no point did the workers not engage in their duties except when they had to go on pickets during lunch time. If the workers were not working, how would you justify the 92% collection rate?
If the "Concerned resident" was really concerned about the internal problems that are besieging our municipality, particularly budget and treasury, he or she would raise ways of how we can solve the apartheid grading systems that put white workers above black workers doing the same work. He or she should be finding solutions on how we deal with the issue of entrenched racism within the department which was an integral part of the workers' memorandum.
Lonwabo Macfarlane, Samwu shop steward, budget and treasury directorate, Port Elizabeth