The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has on the 15th of September, concluded the long-overdue salary and wage negotiations for the country’s municipal workers across the country’s 257 municipalities who are represented by the employer body, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
Salary and wage negotiations for workers in the sector begun earlier in March this year in anticipation of the 2018 salary and wage collective agreement lapsing in June 2020. This process included many rounds of negotiations, resulting in the issuance of the facilitator’s proposal which was rejected by all parties, and ultimately the process went into Conciliation following the lodging of separate disputes by all parties.
Following the conclusion of the Conciliation process on the 14th of September, the union immediately convened a Special National Executive Meeting Committee (NEC). The Special NEC considered the report from the Conciliation and further resolved to mandate the negotiating team to finalise the process culminating in parties reaching an agreement.
As much as the negotiations were held under a very difficult environment with the current pandemic and the economic challenges, through the necessary pressure on the employer from our members we have:
- Secured an increment related to inflation as opposed to the originally Zero rate offered by the employer
- Protected the benefits of all employees in the sector while there was a threat to freeze all benefits
- Protected the salary notch increases that the employer intended to take away in exchange for a general increase
- Secured the allowance towards employees who cannot afford a bond and do not qualify for RDP housing.
As per the collective agreement, municipal workers will receive salary and wage increases as follows:
- A 3-year salary and wage collective agreement effective July 2021
- A 3.5% salary increase in the first year of the agreement and a salary increase linked to projected CPI in the outer years of the agreement (2022 and 2023).
- A once-off amount of R4000 for employees earning less than R12500 and R3000 once-off for those earning R12501 and above.
- Sectoral minimum wage to increase by 3,5% salary increase in the first year of the agreement, the increase will be linked to salary increases in the 2nd and 3rd year of the agreement
- Homeowner’s allowance of R965,00
- Parties agreed to negotiate the employer contribution towards medical aid in the process of reviewing the Main Collective Agreement.
- Parties to agree on a process of investigating the employability of EPWP and CWP employees who are based in municipalities, this investigation will be finalised within 12 months.
On the 15th of September, parties in the SALGBC signed off the salary and wage collective agreement with the exception of the employer body, SALGA whose delegating authority, the CEO expected to sign by Friday 17th September 2021.
As most municipalities have already concluded their payrolls runs for the months, we expect all municipal workers to receive their salary increases with their October 2021 salaries, backdated to the 1st of July.
We thank our members and municipal workers in general for their patience in these long and protracted negotiations. This has been a long process that has been characterised by a direct attack and onslaught on collective bargaining.
Ours is to now regroup and prepare ourselves for the renegotiation of the Main Collective Agreement which is expected to happen in the next few months as the current agreement lapses end of June 2022.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Dumisane Magagula | Deputy General Secretary | 076 580 4029
Papikie Mohale | National Media Officer | 076 795 8670