24 August 2021
SAMWU welcomes the SALGBC’s decision to reject Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality’s exemption application.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes and welcomes the decision of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) to reject the Inkosi Langalibale Local Municipality’s application for exemption from the salary and wage collective agreement that was concluded in 2018.
The multi-year agreement made provisions that in July of 2020, workers in the municipality should receive a salary and wage increase of 6.25%. Instead of implementing the collective agreement in July last year, the employer rushed to the (SALGBC) seeking to be exempted from paying workers their salary increments in terms of Clause 11 of the agreement.
This reckless application by the employer has resulted in workers not receiving their salary increases since July 2021, while the cost of living continued to rise.
The application itself was immoral in that it came at a time when many South Africans were loosing their jobs and livelihoods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision by the employer to deny workers their salary increases placed workers under more pressure as we know that on average, one municipal worker’s salary feeds about 4 house holds.
As SAMWU, we have always contended that the application by the employer to be exempted from the collective agreement was a direct attack on collective bargaining in the country and more especially in the local government sector. We therefore could not fold our arms and allow for a situations wherein collective bargaining is attacked under our watch.
The Inkosi Langalibale Local Municipality wanted to use workers as a scapegoat for the inefficiencies and maladministration at the institution which resulted in them not being in a position to honour the salary and wage agreement.
For over a year, workers at the institution had not received their salary increases because of the municipality’s own doings. We are however pleased that the SALGBC has ruled that the municipality should pay workers their salary and wage increases from July 2020 until June 2021.
As salary and wage negotiations continue at national level, we will be keeping a closer look at the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality that they do not play with the livelihoods of municipal workers by applying for yet another exemption on the new salary and wage collective agreement that will be concluded.
Issued by SAMWU Inkosi Langalibalele Local
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