Municipal workers inching towards deal, says official

Unions representing municipal workers were inching closer to a wage deal, an official said ahead of a meeting with the employer on Thursday.

”We are close. We consulted through the night, also with structures in Samwu [South African Municipal Workers’ Union],” said Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) general secretary Johan Koen.

”It [a deal] is close … in terms of our internal structures,” said Koen, declining to elaborate.

”We are meeting the employer again at 11am.”

The two unions will report back on mandates from their members following a new wage offer that was tabled by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) on Friday.

Salga is offering an 11,5% salary increase to be implemented retrospectively from July 1 2009, with a further 1,5% increase from January 1 2010. This results in a 13% increase.

At the time disputes were declared with the employer, Imatu was demanding 13% and Samwu 15%.

Meanwhile, the strike that started on Monday was set to continue on Thursday in major centres like Johannesburg and Durban.

About 125 000 Samwu members were staying away from work while most of the 70 000 Imatu members returned to work again on Tuesday. — Sapa

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