HERE is some background to the action taken by municipal employees at the Korsten drivers' licence testing centre.
As you are aware, this is the third closure this year. The first was due to a lack of toner cartridges for the printers and thus we could not serve the public.
We had no control over the procurement process and had placed an order long before the toners ran out.
We were blamed in your paper by letter writers and no explanation with the true facts was ever given by our senior management or by the council's spin doctor.
This led to resentment and already high levels of frustration due to extreme staff shortages.
We had motivated for a staff increase to provide a better service. Once again "there is no money". More resentment. And more abuse from the public.
Staff carried on under these trying circumstances until we heard that law enforcement officers had, by means of protest action, suddenly been given a four or five grade salary increase.
This despite the fact that the majority of them did no work at all, were not placed in positions and did not even have job descriptions. We then learned that money which was placed aside to address staffing issues had been taken away and would be used for the law enforcement officers' salaries with nothing left to address our problems.
We were then informed that there was a mayoral task team visiting the various departments to evaluate staff needs. We were told that we had been evaluated but this was not so. We arranged to meet the Task job evaluation team the following Monday morning. By 11.30am they had not arrived as apparently they "were busy with a council meeting" which we learnt later that day never took place. We then decided to lodge a grievance with management about staffing levels, pay parity, security for the staff and public and equipment for our call centre. We then closed the doors and were told to "follow the correct procedure" for a grievance. Management were then given two choices.
Act immediately, promise us that the problems would be addressed and give us a fixed time frame. Option two was the "proper grievance procedure" which would result in the doors remaining closed until the matter was resolved. To our surprise they chose the second option.
This second "strike" lasted 13 days and caused huge disruption. Promises were made and agreements were signed. We waited and all we got was a headset for the telephonist and absolutely nothing else.
This led to the third "strike".
Regretfully, because we have a "communications department" and are not permitted to contact the press directly, this letter has to remain unsigned.