Despite a deep financial crisis and a R20.7 billion loss, Eskom’s senior managers are demanding a pay hike.
A report by the Rapport newspaper said that senior managers are taking Eskom to the Council for for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) because they received no salary increases.
There are approximately 200 managers in this group, who earn between R1.5 million and R3 million a year. They are seeking a 4.7% increase, in line with inflation, the paper reported.
Eskom’s estimated 6,500 middle managers are also reportedly unhappy with the 7.5% increase given to lower-tier workers, and want to be put into the same bargaining unit as those workers.
They earn between R700,000 and R2 million, according to Rapport.
Eskom is about 66% overstaffed, according to analysts and energy experts, which places a massive financial burden on the company which is already struggling to pay the bills.
The group has made efforts in the past to cut back on its costs related to employees – through retrenchments, and a wage freeze – but all measures to do so have been met with backlash from unions, including threats to shut the country’s electricity grid.
Eskom’s 2019 wage bill increased even further, hitting R32.35 billion, up from R28.83 billion in 2018 (including salaries, overtime, benefits, leave and bonuses).
Averaged out, this comes to R693,240 per employee (2018: R592,790), the highest point average pay has reached at the company over the last 17 years.
At the top level, Eskom’s top executives took a pay cut in 2019 on the back of the group’s dismal financial performance – but still walked away with multi-million rand salaries, and several golden handshakes.
Exiting chief executive Phakamani Hadebe, who stepped down from the company at the end of July, received a final paycheque of R8.6 million for his one year in his position, while chief financial officer, Calib Cassim received R3.24 million.
The other 13 members of Eskom’s group executives received a total payout of R44 million, down from R51.6 million last year. Included in the group payout are two notice payments of R6.4 million for executives who are leaving.