NELSON Mandela Bay ratepayers have forked out about R40-million in inflated salaries for senior managers in the municipality over the past three years.
About 70 directors and assistant directors have been erroneously overpaid since pay parity was implemented in 2010, backdated to July 2009.
A report to the human resources portfolio committee meeting yesterday revealed that the incorrect implementation of pay parity for the senior managers cost about R25-million in January 2010.
The report states that the "current implication of not implementing the corrections is approximately R500000 per month”.
The pay parity came about after disgruntled municipal staff from Uitenhage and Despatch complained they were being paid less than their Port Elizabeth counterparts with similar job descriptions, following the formation of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in 2000.
Senior managers were not necessarily eligible for the allowance and it is believed they "jumped on the bandwagon” and had their salaries inflated.
They are each being overpaid by as much as R17000 monthly.
The Herald previously reported that the basic salaries of the senior managers (excluding perks such as up to R10000 a month for a car allowance) include that:
żOffice of the speaker director Nimrod Mqulwana should have had his salary reduced by about R17000 monthly, from about R40000 to R23000;
żCommunications head Roland Williams should have had his salary reduced by about R12000, from about R40000 to about R28000 monthly;
żNumerous assistant managers should have had their salaries reduced by about R10000, including SMME development assistant manager Luyanda Jack, from about R32000 to R22000 monthly; and
żEnvironmental management head Joram Mkosana should have had his salary reduced by about R8000 per month, from about R40000 to about R32000.
At a human resources portfolio committee meeting, councillors heard that the overpayments were not corrected despite an instruction from former acting municipal manager Elias Ntoba that the corrections be implemented by July last year.
The implementation of the corrections was stalled after the directors and assistant directors lodged a dispute with the CCMA. Their dispute was based on their interpretation of the pay parity agreement, as well as the change to the terms and conditions of employment.
While the verdict of the dispute was awarded in favour of the municipality, the affected staff have not indicated if they will call for a review of the case.
Councillors said yesterday they could not debate the report nor approve the recommendation to correct the overpayments while the case was still under review.
ANC councillor Lawrence Troon said: "We can’t implement the corrections or make decisions if the matter is still up for review. Let’s wait for this matter and we’ll be guided by the outcome of the review decision.”
DA councillor Pieter Terblanche said the portfolio committee needed a letter from the attorneys of the senior managers indicating that they did not intend to pursue the matter further before councillors could make a decision.
Corporate human resources services director Roslyn van Greunen said: "There was an arbitration process which was awarded in the municipality’s favour. If we wait for the review in the Labour Court, it could take up to two years.
"At the moment it’s hindering a lot of other cases where there are erroneous payments.
"We have got three or four other cases that we are defending on the basis that we are correcting these [of the senior managers],” Van Greunen said.