samwu thumb medium80 78BL Premium reports that the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has threatened to go on a national strike after the National Treasury urged municipalities in a circular to implement a 0% wage increase for workers during the 2021/2022 financial year.

The union indicated that it would use all legal avenues to force the employer to agree to its wage demands. Samwu deputy general secretary Dumisane Magagula said the union was disappointed by the Treasury’s attempt to interfere and collapse collective bargaining. “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 that we negotiate in, being the SA Local Government Bargaining Council, which is inclusive of the country’s 257 municipalities, and the Amanzi Bargaining Council, which is inclusive of the country’s 12 water boards,” said Magagula. In his view, the Treasury’s posture was an attempt to “seek to influence the outcomes of negotiations that will be starting on March 29”. Samwu is demanding a one-year wage agreement of a R4,000 salary increase across the board, a R15,000 minimum wage, a R3,500 housing allowance, 80% employer medical aid contributions, 25% employer contribution towards pensions, six months’ paid maternity leave and one month’s paid paternity leave. Magagula said the union would not fold its arms and watch while “workers’ power is eroded”.

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