The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has formally declared a dispute at the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) where salary and wage negotiations were being held between organized labour and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) which represents the country’s municipalities and their entities.
After 3 rounds of negotiations, the facilitator had presented a proposal to be considered as the basis for an agreement.
The proposal included;
- 3 year agreement
- 7% across the board salary increase in the first year of the first year of the agreement
- Projected CPI plus 1.5% in the second year of the agreement and a further CPI plus 1.25 % in the third year of the agreement.
- Housing allowance and minimum wage to increase by 7%
Both lMATU and SALGA had accepted the facilitator’s proposal, a proposal which does not have any substantial increments for Municipal Workers. Parties at the Bargaining Council are seemingly determined on imposing the facilitator’s report down the throat of SAMWU. Municipal Workers and SAMWU in particular will not be bullied by SALGA into accepting this proposal.
We are a worker controlled organization and as such it is only our members who would accept or reject the facilitator’s report. During our consultation with our members, the facilitator’s proposal was vehemently rejected by municipal workers as it does not address the financial situation which municipal workers find themselves in. The facilitator’s report is furthermore far from the initial demands which our members had presented to the employer body.
SAMWU has therefore reverted to its initial demands.
As things stand, Municipal Workers are demanding:
- A single year agreement
- An across the board 15% across the board salary increase or 3155 whichever is greater.
- Across the board R2000 housing allowance
- R10 000 minimum wage for the sector
In attempting to bully and threaten SAMWU, SALGA has reverted back to their final offer of 6,6% while in another sign of negotiating in bad faith from the onset, they have decided to suspend Wage Curve negotiations because they failed to force us to accept this proposal. We are however not surprised at the suspension of talk on Wage Curve because from the onset SALGA opened this negotiations in bad faith which had contaminated the atmosphere in the Bargaining Council.
The claims by SALGA that our demands are unaffordable are far from the truth. A glance at the recently released Auditor General’s audit report on municipalities shows that municipalities have become a breeding ground for corruption and maladministration. R28 billion of expenditure was incurred irregularly while a further R1.5 billion was spent fruitlessly and wastefully. Municipal Workers can therefore not be blamed for the manmade mess which municipalities find themselves in. It is for this reason that we are forging ahead with our initial demands in the interest of our members who are facing a financial onslaught from all fronts.
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