Battle lines drawn as municipal wage negotiations begin

Striking municipal workers march to Salga offices on August 19 2011 in Johannesburg. (Gallo)

Striking municipal workers march to Salga offices on August 19 2011 in Johannesburg. (Gallo)

“The parties have a huge mountain to climb after Salga responded with a below inflation increase in response to the joint demands of the trade unions,” Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said in a statement.

Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union, have proposed an across the board increase of 15% or R2 000 (whichever is greater) for employees under the scope of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council.

They have also proposed a minimum wage of R6 000, the filling of vacant posts in municipal-approved organisations on a full-time basis and that the salary and wage collective agreement apply only to the 2012/13 financial year.

Salga had responded with a 4% wage increase across the board, no minimum wage for the sector and no filling of vacancies, said Sema.

Salga had also proposed terminating the conditions of service agreement and the existing disciplinary procedure and capping existing maximum contributions by employers to medical aid schemes.

He said no wage agreement was reached for the 2011/12 financial year.

Samwu embarked on a five-day strike in July 2009, a nine-day strike in April 2010 and a two-week long strike in August following the breakdown of negotiations. – Sapa

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