The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) convened a Special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on the 22nd June 2021 to consolidate reports from provinces following the issuance of the Facilitator’s Proposal on the current salary and wage negotiations for the country’s municipal workers in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
On the 7th of June 2021, the facilitator in the negotiations, Mrs Naledi Buwana-Bisiwe, at the request of parties in the SALGBC issued her proposal for consideration by parties as parties were far apart in terms of the demands put forward by workers and the insulting offer that had been put forward by the employer body, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
In her bias proposal, which was a repetition of what the employer had been arguing through the negotiations, the facilitator proposed that parties consider the following;
1. A 3 year salary and wage agreement.
2. A 4% salary increase in the first year of the agreement and projected CPI minus 1% in the outer years of the agreement.
3. A total freeze on all benefits to municipal workers in the first year of the agreement, these will only be fully unfrozen in the last year of the agreement.
4. Sectoral minimum wage to only increase in line with salary increases.
5. Deferment of the employability of EPWP, CWP and our demands for maternity and paternity leave to other processes.
6. Making it easy for SALGA to, on behalf of all municipalities withdraw from this and future collective agreement.
7. Finalisation of the pension fund restructuring in the sector.
Following the issuance of the Facilitator’s Proposal, the union embarked on a membership engagement process and mandate taking on the facilitator’s proposal. This was to allow for our members to engage the proposal and chant a way forward that worker believed would resolve the current impasse.
Today, SAMWU has formally written to the SALGBC, formally informing parties of the union’s decision to reject the facilitator’s proposal. Our members have in their majority voted against the proposal as it does not address our demands.
The union is also in the process of concluding balloting for a potential strike in the sector as required by law. The results of this process will be made known before parties in the SALGBC reconvene on the 1st and 2nd July 2021.
We urge our members to participate in the process of balloting and to properly mandate the union on a way forward since talks between parties have not yielded any positive results. We further urge our members to gear up and prepare themselves for the upcoming war with the employer in demand of decent salary increments.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Deputy General Secretary
076 580 4029
National Media Officer
073 710 0356