Today's Labour News

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SalgaBL Premium reports that trade unions and municipal bosses are heading for a showdown after the SA Local Government Association (Salga), the body representing SA’s 257 municipalities, called for financially distressed municipalities to cut wages in real terms and freeze other perks linked to wage hikes.

Salga has proposed a 2.8% wage increase for 2021/2022. This is below the 2.9% inflation rate recorded in February and the 4.3% average the Reserve Bank expects for 2021. In a strongly worded letter addressed to SA Local Government Bargaining Council (Salgbc), Salga CEO Xolile George proposed a three-year wage deal with an option for parties to "opt out" based on unforeseen circumstances. George called on municipalities to hike salaries in line with available resources, saying failure to do so would constitute financial misconduct. Any agreement also needed to incorporate an "exemption dispensation" for non-affording, least-affording or just-affording municipalities. George said some municipalities struggling with the current wage costs would have to apply "no more than a 0% increase". Keith Swanepoel of the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) said they were demanding a "9% wage hike or R2,500, whichever is greater". He said wage negotiations should be given a chance. The SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is demanding a one-year wage agreement with a R4,000 salary increase across the board and other benefits. The union’s Dumisane Magagula commented on Monday that negotiations were just beginning and the union was not in a position to discuss the Salga letter.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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