The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with great disappointment and disgust of yet another attempt by the National Treasury to interfere and collapse collective bargaining in the country.
This follows a circular released by the department to municipalities in which they urge municipalities to apply a “0% increase” for workers in the 2021/22 financial year.
What agitates workers the most is that this announcement by the National Treasury is meant to pre-empt salary and wage negotiations in the two bargaining councils which we negotiate in, being the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC), which is inclusive of the country’257 municipalities and the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC) which is inclusive of the country’s 12 water boards.
As much as we are shocked and angered by these antics by National Treasury, we are however not surprised because for the longest of time municipalities have never been taken serious by that institution or government. In fact, the National Treasury should take full blame for the state that the country’s municipalities find themselves in.
Just as they attempted to convince municipalities to apply to be exempted from current salary and wage agreement, the National Treasury as ambassadors of neo-liberal policies has now went a step further in advising municipalities that they should not give into workers’ demand for a danger allowance.
We see these attempts by the National Treasury as nothing but an unprovoked attack on workers and collective bargaining. We do not have to remind National Treasury and government that collective bargaining is a product of the sweat and blood of workers and as such, we will not fold our arms and watch while workers’ power is eroded.
As SAMWU, we place it on record that the National Treasury is not an employer body in both the bargaining councils in which we fall under, there is no party called “National Treasury.” These councils are only constituted by employer representatives and trade unions.
For an outside party to them speak on issues discussed at these councils is nothing but an attempt to seek to influence the outcomes of negotiations which will be starting on the 29th March 2021.
Workers will not be deterred by these attempts by the National Treasury in fighting for decent and living wages for our members in both local government and water boards.
As mandated by the recently held National Collective Bargaining Conference, our demands remain the same as follows;
1. A single year salary and wage agreement
2. R4 000 salary increase for all workers under the auspices of the SALGBC and ABC.
3. R15 000 minimum wage in both local government and water boards
4. R 3 500 housing allowance for all workers.
5. 80% employer medical aid contribution and 20% employee contribution.
6. 6 months fully paid maternal leave and 1 month fully paid paternity leave.
7. 25% employer contribution towards pension.
In light of the above interference by the National Treasury and in preparation for salary and wage negotiations in the SALGBC and ABC, SAMWU will be mobilizing workers to prepare themselves to fight and defend collective bargaining. Our sneakers are ready!
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Deputy General Secretary
084 806 4005
National Media Officer
073 710 0356