Numsa battles out Eskom’s flawed grading in arbitration

After a four-year battle against Eskom’s inconsistent grading system, the metalworkers’ giant has bounced back in a clear-cut hostility by pursuing the matter in the arbitration.

On Thursday next week (10 April, 2008), the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will battle it out in the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in a move to change the broad- band grading system into a contracted grade levels system.

Eskom management had introduced and unilaterally implemented its flawed grading assessment and remuneration programme (Garp) in 2004. It (Garp) paid attention only on worker performances and salary scales.

The dispute was then declared after management refused to continue to bargain. And the protracted wrangling emerged after the power utility also implemented its two-year wage offer, disregarding unions’ proposals to review the linking of the grading system with the proposed wage package settlement.

Our major difficulty with the current Eskom grading system is the ever-escalating wage gaps between maximum and minimum wage levels. The gaps go beyond 50% including several pay levels within each grade, Numsa chief shop stewards in Eskom Phutas Tseki said.

The union’s intense detest for the grading system is also aggravated by inconsistencies and overlapping whereby higher grade categories often earn 32% less than some in the lower grades levels.

Another worrying and distressing aspect for the union is that the present grading system disqualifies workers in maximum wage levels in each grade from getting the progression increase in July 2008 when the two-year wage increase is effected. Workers’ economic power would be greatly curtailed.

Numsa is determined to exchange blows with Eskom in the legal battle to narrow the widening wage gaps to the bitterest end.

And, in another major looming legal wrangle Numsa is considering to institute a Labour Court interdict against Eskom to restrain the power utility from unilaterally deducting workers’ provident fund bonus payments which were erroneously not subtracted from the workers bonuses. 


For further information contact:

Eskom shop stewards council chairperson Phutas Tseki at 0824985840 or

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

E-mail :


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