The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) welcomes the decision by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) on 20 April 2022 to dismiss the appeal lodged by the City of Tshwane. The latest antics by the City of Tshwane come after the City took a deliberate decision to deny municipal workers their salary increases as agreed to in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) in September 2021, salary increases were to be back-dated from 1 July 2021.
Instead of paying workers their salary increases, the City dragged its feet until SAMWU approached the SALGBC for an enforcement order. We were taken aback when on the eve of the enforcement hearing, the City lodged an application with the SALGBC to be exempted from paying workers their salary increases in line with the collective agreement reached by parties in the Council.
The City’s exemption application which was heard by a Senior Panelist on the 8th of April was dismissed amongst other things: delay of six months in referring the matter to the national Bargaining Council and also for abuse of process. The panellist further indicated the action of the City has prejudiced employees all of whom are ratepayers and are affected by the increase in the cost of living and further that the City of Tshwane has undermined collective bargaining.
On the 14th of April 2022, the City through its lawyers wrote to the SALGBC requesting an appeal of the outcomes of their exemption application. On the 20th of April, the SALGBC through the Office of the General Secretary rejected the request for an appeal by the City citing that parties in the Council have never agreed to an appeal process and as such, decisions of the Senior Panellist shall be final and binding, subject to an aggrieved party’s right to institute review in a court which has jurisdiction over the matter.
As SAMWU, our view has always been that the City is not acting in good faith, undermining collective bargaining and that it deliberately wants to deny municipal workers their salary and wage increases. Noting the outcome of exemption and dismissal of the appeal, SAMWU, therefore, calls on the City of Tshwane to implement the salary increase to alleviate hardships faced by its own employees who have been waiting for 8 months for their salary increases.
The time has come for the City to show that it indeed cares for the well-being of its employees and most importantly, sound labour relations in the City by implementing the salary and wage collective agreement as signed in the SALGBC.
Issued by SAMWU Tshwane Region
Mpho Tladinyane, Regional Secretary (083 941 5888) or Valentine Matlala Deputy Regional Secretary (084 465 5598)