06 March 2018
SAMWU to Consult Member Following Another Ridiculous SALGA Offer
The South Africans Municipal Workers’ Union is disappointed by yet another salary and wage offer presented by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) at the third round of salary and wage negotiations in the Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) currently being held in Durban. We would consider this latest offer as laughable but as it affects the lives of our members, we deem it is a direct attack on their livelihoods.
SALGA has since revised its opening offer but has shockingly presented an offer which has no substantial increments for our members as follows.
1. A multiyear agreement with an across the board salary increase of 5.9%
2. All allied demands to also increase by 5.9%
3. Housing allowance to only be extended to individuals who own homes.
We are very disappointed that despite the good faith and commitment which organized labour had invested in this process that such a ridiculous offer could be presented to municipal workers, an offer which directly makes mockery of the financial situation which municipal workers find themselves in, a situation which is not of their own making but a consequence of the employer failing to fairly remunerate municipal workers for servicing South African communities.
Instead of valuing and appreciating the work which municipal workers are doing, the opposite is however happening. In the opening rounds of negotiations, we were shocked when SALGA said that they do not want to reward mediocrity, essentially showing the level of disregard for work done by municipal workers. What hurt the most is that these are the people who risk their lives on a daily basis, running after trucks to collect rubbish without any protective clothing, come rain or sunshine yet they are referred to as mediocre. SALGA seems to forget that without municipal workers municipalities would collapse, that these are people are rendering an essential service to the county.
SALGA has not shown any commitment in ensuring that the lives of municipal workers are improved. As shocking as this is, it is however not surprising because at the end of the day, municipal workers are in the eyes of SALGA mediocre and as such deserve to live in squalors and be subjected to poverty and starvation. This is however not surprising because the SALGA negotiation team wants to ensure that municipal workers get the least Increment positive so the team can get huge performance bonuses as a token of appreciation for relegating workers to poverty.
Because municipal workers are mediocre in the eyes of SALGA they do not deserve housing allowance which would be extended every worker. They would rather give a mere R700 to those who are fortunate enough to qualify for housing finance through banks. It is the very same government which our members labour hard for which tells them that they do not qualify for RDP housing but this is acceptable to SALGA because municipal workers are mediocre. They would rather have workers renting shacks to demean them, after all, Municipal workers are mediocre in the eyes of SALGA.
From the onset, we indicated that SALGA has not began this negotiations in good faith, undermined the process and had continued with their arrogant attitude towards municipal workers and believes that they are doing workers a favour by negotiating with them particularly on issues which directly affect them.
Already municipal workers are finding it very difficult to keep up with the forever rising cost of living which would now be even worse given the increase in Value Added Tax and fuel levies which would defiantly affect of the working poor. SALGA has the audacity to present a mere 5.9% increase for municipal workers because they think they are doing workers a favour.
As a mandate driven union, we will therefore be consulting our members throughout the county in the form of general meetings to formally present this offer to them and also to seek mandate from the principals of the union which is our members on the correct course of action which should be taken.
The response and mandate given by our members will be formally presented at the SALGBC in the last round of negotiations which are scheduled to be held from the 16th to 18th April.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
(079 887 8389),
Deputy General Secretary
(082 899 2169)
National Media Officer
(073 710 0356)