TUT wins labour court battle over wage discrimination

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According to reports, three nurses at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) failed to prove to the Labour Appeal Court that they have been paid less than their white colleague.

TUT had reportedly previously been ordered by Acting Labour Court Judge, Sandile Mabaso, to increase Paul Maraba, Lydia Khwinana and Matilda Legwale’s salaries and backdate this to April 2011.

However, TUT undertook an appeal after this judgement, saying it had done nothing wrong.

IOL reports that “Labour Appeal Court Acting Judge Kate Savage with Judge Philip Coppin and Acting Judge Daisy Molefe upheld TUT’s appeal and dismissed professional nurses Paul Maraba, Lydia Khwinana and Matilda Legwale’s claim of unfair discrimination.”

According to the claimants, Sarina Kloppers (their white colleague) had been paid a better salary because of her social origin. Kloppers reportedly came from Pretoria Technikon, which is better resourced than the previously disadvantaged Technikon Northern Gauteng and Technikon North West which the three claimants came from.

TUT is a merger of the three schools. The institution argued that when the merger happened in 2008, a decision was made to uncap salaries and this is what caused the differentiation in salaries.

The Labour appeal court judges found that the evidence given by TUT supported this argument clearly and could not be refuted.

They said: ”The evidence indicated that this differentiation arose from the decision to uncap salaries, a decision which was made in response to labour demands to this effect and so as to maintain labour peace,”.

The decision to uncap salaries was applied across the three old institutions after the merger and across different occupational categories and grades.

”There was therefore no evidence that the decision to uncap salaries was applied only to the previously advantaged campus of Pretoria or limited to particular occupations or job grades,” reads the judgment.

Two of the three claimants are no longer employed with TUT.