A formal grievance involving salary increases is doing the rounds among Telkom employees to garner support from management-level staff before it is filed.
The document which spells out the complaint is in MyBroadband’s possession and focuses on the low increase (3% average) certain management-level employees received, as well as the “differentiated remuneration model” at Telkom.
According to the grievance, the increases were not market-related, and after inflation is taken into account were effectively decreases.
It also criticises the lack of transparency in the newly implemented differentiated remuneration model (DRM) at Telkom.
The document said that previous performance increase letters explained how the DRM was implemented, but this information was not in the most recently received letters.
Instead, the letter only stated that remuneration is based on individual performance measures, according to the grievance, with no indication of how an average increase of 3% was arrived at.
According to the document, middle management often received salary adjustments below the consumer price index (CPI) while the rest of the company was treated “fairly” due to union support.
The grievance demanded that Telkom rectify this for every instance in the last 10 years, adding that a proposal by top management on how to compensate middle management may be related to company performance.
A number of other demands and requests were also made, including:
- A management forum must be established;
- a detailed salary report of top management, management, and operational staff for the last 10 years;
- feedback on how the 3% average increase was determined;
- a detailed explanation of the criteria used to determine salary adjustments for the last 10 years, with specific focus on those years where management received lower increases than top management and operational staff;
- clarification of bonus percentages;
- a commitment that middle management’s future median salary adjustments won’t be below that of operational staff; and
- to be informed of the intended increases at the same time as Unions and operational staff.
When asked whether Telkom was aware of the unhappiness of some of its middle management, a company spokesperson provided the following statement:
Formal channels and structures exist within the Company for the use of all employees to communicate and to address any issues/grievances they may have. Employees are encouraged to use these channels.
Telkom has not received a request or grievance on the matter as described and, as such, cannot respond prior to the receipt of a formal request/grievance. Furthermore, Telkom cannot respond prior to formal engagement with concerned employees in the event that a request/grievance is formally received.
The company continuously engages with all employees on various issues and will continue to do so. Employee Engagement forms part of an integrated strategy which the company prefers to deal with internally rather than in the media.”