SAMWU cautions municipalities and Water Boards from reneging on salary and wage agreements

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted with great concern the number of municipalities and water boards that have either shown their intention to or have applied to be exempted from paying workers salary increases as per the concluded salary and wage negotiations in both the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) and the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC). 

Salary and wage negotiations were concluded earlier this year in both Bargaining Councils following lengthy negotiations that were characterised with an attack on collective bargaining wherein municipalities and water boards were advised by the National Treasury to consider a 0% salary increase for workers. 

Since the beginning of this month, which is the month when municipalities and water boards  are supposed to implement the agreements, the union has received signs that there are some employers who seek to renege from these agreements which by law they are bound to. 

Several municipalities including Sedibeng Water have indicated to workers that they will not be getting their salary and wage increases this month as agreed in both the ABC and the SALGBC while some have already applied or made known their intentions to be exempted from the collective agreements. 

Of great concern to us is that some municipalities such as the City of Cape Town had made known their intentions even before the commencement of the negotiations in the SALGBC that workers will not be receiving any increases this year thus rendering the whole process futile and defining themselves outside of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). 

We are not going to allow a situation wherein workers who by the way have ensured that there is continuity of the delivery of services during the pandemic are denied the salary and wage increases which are due to them. 

We, therefore, demand that all municipalities and water boards should implement the salary and wage increases for workers as agreed in the ABC and the SALGBC. Any decision by a municipality or water board to not implement the salary and wage increases as agreed in both Bargaining Councils will be considered a provocation and a declaration of war against workers, a war that workers are ready to fight in defence of the gains that have been made in both Bargaining Councils. 

We, therefore, call on all our members and workers in general in both sectors to gear up and ready themselves to defend collective bargaining, otherwise, these gains will be unilaterally reversed by employers. We say to workers: Ayihlome!

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Dumisane Magagula, General Secretary (076 580 4029) or Papikie Mohale, National Media Officer 

(073 710 0356)