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Municipal job evaluations under the spotlight at Gauteng Summit




Posted: 22 July 2019

Job evaluations fell under the spotlight during the SALGA Gauteng symposium on 16-17 in Mount Grace Hotel in Magaliesberg.

Job evaluation can be described as a way of rating and ranking specific job titles within the organisation to determine their relative worth to achieve equity and best value.

The Job Evaluation Symposium saw about hundred role-players, and leaders in the fields,  delegates from SALGA National and Provincial, human resources (HR) specialists and labour relations practitioners – gather to deliberate and plot a way forward for a new dispensation of local government remuneration.

Organised under the theme:  ‘Gearing Towards Remuneration Equity in Local Government’, the symposium’s goal is to serve as a springboard for innovation, idea sharing and best practice related to job evaluations.

During the first day, speakers set the scene as to the current status of job evaluations, the challenges that prevent the finalisation of such evaluations and the different processes municipalities can follow to implement evaluations. Case studies and historical experiences were also documented, and tools and frameworks that can assist with successful job evaluations were discussed at length.

Anneline Parker, a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting told delegates that there are many issues currently with job evaluations in municipalities. The main reason for this, she said, was that in the municipal environment, most employees link job grades to salaries – even though these are not the same.

“While grading allows us to compare specific remuneration in terms of salary and benefits to what is happening in the broader marketplace, it must be remembered that many other factors – including the specific sector and regional fluctuations in wages – has an impact to it. This is why it is important to undertake a proper job evaluation, as this provides a base for employment equity and equal work for equal pay,” she says.

“It must also be understood that any business, whether private or public sector, will require a combination of deep specialists – such as town planners – and more common, broader-based skills. These specialist positions are often critical to the organisation and are the type that, if left open, would have a significantly negative impact on its ability to conduct normal business. Job evaluation allows you to also determine not only how vital a particular job is, but also how difficult it will be to find these skills in the marketplace, thereby helping you determine the ultimate remuneration to be offered,” says Parker.

Mercy Mtjekelo, a member of the Gauteng Provincial Audit Committee, pointed out that one particular challenge currently faced by local government is that positions for the same job level are sometimes advertised with different requirements.

“You cannot have two positions of the same rank advertised, but one demands five years’ experience when the other only asks for two, as an example. This sort of thing creates anomalies in job grades, leads to grievances and disputes, creates inequalities in the workplace, decreases interest in attaining higher job levels and leads to loss of morale, impacting on your unique organisational culture,” she says.

“I would suggest that there should be a job requirements framework put in place that will ensure consistent descriptors of jobs, to support the development of the job role, requirements and structures.”

Although many questions around the subject matter were raised on the first day and robust discussions were had, the results suggest that by the end of the summit, SALGA Gauteng will have made significant progress in improving the focus on job evaluation processes and criteria.

The session included Panel Discussions on presentations and many questions were raised, a clear indication on the serious and high interest on the need for agreed job evaluation policy and the principle of equal pay for equal work.


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