Employees of the contractor rendering services to Wasteserv have long been complaining of persistent mistakes in their salaries and at times have found themselves in hot water over delayed bank loan payments after not getting paid on time.

This saga has persisted even though in January 2020 workers had been promised that it would be addressed once and for all.

“When the end of the month approaches and we receive our salary, there is concern that we might be in trouble over our bank loan in case we do not receive our salary in full,” an affected employee confided to Voice of the Workers Weekly.

These errors affect allowances, benefits, vacation leave, sick leave, overtime and additional payment which is due on Sundays and public holidays.

“Sometimes this would translate to a reduction of hundreds of euros in our wage. The issue has been dragging for years and it seems nobody managed to solve it,” this worker said, while declining to identify himself.

Though Wasteserv employs hundreds, only a few dozen are on its books. The rest, ranging from workers with basics skills to professionals, are employed with the contractor through an outsourcing contract. This is leading to lack of coordination between the two entities and sometimes even confusion.

The issue has become endemic to the point that in the last collective agreement of 2018, which was negotiated by the officially recognized UĦM Voice of the Workers, a clause had been added specifically for such cases. Through this agreement, mistakes in the employees’ wages must be addressed within three weeks. The timeframe prevents a scenario whereby employees would get the amount due in the following salary, as this would create confusion on what was due to them during that month.

Last January, when the current contractor Ozo Services took over, it promised to address the problem. A dedicated group was set up and measures were taken including the installation of staff attendance equipment to improve administrative aspects. Almost a year down the line the problem persisted. The complaints which UĦM receives at the end of every month are testament to this.

“Unfortunately, when we complain we are unable to seek redress as everybody seems to be passing the buck,” workers complained.

Although the UĦM is assisting those affected to get what is due in the shortest possible time and within the parameters of the collective agreement, it is high time that this issue is resolved once and for all. Employees should not bear the brunt of the administrative shortcomings.