IMATU ATTENDS SALGA NATIONAL MEMBERS ASSEMBLY

IMATU President, Stanley Khoza is currently attending the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) National Members Assembly (NMA) being held in Durban from 10 -12 December 2018.

IMATU believes that an event of this nature creates a necessary platform to identify the key challenges facing local government and collectively decide how the various stakeholders will effectively address these challenges.

“IMATU welcomes the President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s assertion that organised labour must be treated as an ally of the local government development agenda. Local government capacity must be improved, this can be achieved by attracting and retaining new skills as well as upskilling and further developing the current local government workforce. Local government employees must also be equipped with the necessary skills, tools and resources to do their work,” explained IMATU President, Stanley Khoza.

IMATU recently hosted its Mid-term Conference where the organisation took the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate its achievements as well as take stock of what still needs to be achieved going forward.

“IMATU has seen increased and consistent growth in both membership and female representation on our elected structures. We recognised the need to actively empower our female members and provide the necessary support for them to assume their rightful voice in a workplace often dominated by men. We currently represent just under 100 000 members, with a 40% female representation target throughout our decision making structures,” he stated.

Similarly, IMATU believes that with decisive leadership, adequate planning, support and integration, municipalities can positively affect growth and development within our communities. and service delivery.

“While this conference will discuss some of the factors contributing to poor service delivery, the need for infrastructure maintenance and how we can create more jobs, it is important for all parties to acknowledge that we need to do better for our people. As our President correctly pointed out, when it comes to our country’s development, local government is the difference between failure and success,” concluded Khoza.

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SALGBC Circular 9/2018: Unrecognised Minority Trade Unions Seeking Organisational Rights at Municipal Level

agreementThe SALGBC issued a circular yesterday, endorsed by IMATU, SAMWU and SALGA, to all municipalities to address the issue of unrecognised minority trade unions seeking organisational rights at municipal level.

This comes as unrecognised trade unions have increasingly been using the constitutional court judgement in POPCRU v South African Correctional Services Workers’ Union and Others to convince municipalities to enter into recognition agreements for organisational rights with them.

The key aspects of the circular are the following:

  • The threshold for recognition in the sector is a membership of 15% of all employees under the scope of the SALGBC. This is a national threshold.
  • A trade union can only conclude agreements for organisational rights if it meets that 15% threshold.
  • The only recognised trade unions in the sector are IMATU and SAMWU.
  • Municipalities should not enter into recognition agreements with any unrecognised minority trade union.
  • The recent Constitutional Court judgement in POPCRU v South African Correctional Services Workers’ Union and Others, does not create an obligation on any Municipality to enter into recognition agreements with unrecognised minority trade unions.
  • If an unrecognised minority trade union seeks statutory organisational rights, it should refer a dispute in terms of section 21(c) of the LRA.
  • The SALGBC parties (SALGA, IMATU and SAMWU) oppose the proliferation of multiple trade unions in the sector.
  • Municipalities, as members of SALGA, should minimise and oppose the proliferation of multiple trade unions in the sector.
  • The potential danger of entering into recognition agreements with unrecognised minority trade unions was illustrated in the case of Buffalo City Municipality.
  • Municipal employees are reminded that unrecognised minority trade unions such as MATUSA and DEMAWUSA cannot bargain collectively for them. Collective agreements can only be  negotiated and entered into with IMATU and SAMWU.
  • Employees who join unrecognised minority trade unions are still be liable to pay Agency Shop fees as well as the subscription fees to their union. The court has recently confirmed that the
  • Agency Shop collectively agreement is binding on all municipalities and employees who are not members of IMATU and SAMWU.

SALGBC Circular 9/2018 can be viewed here

IMATU STANDS AGAINST THE ABUSE OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN

IMATU, together with many South Africans, has taken a pledge to oppose the abuse of women and children. While we support the international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, taking place from 25 November – 10 December, we believe that this promise must be upheld and actioned all year round.

Our members are continually encouraged to report abuse, support survivors and volunteer where possible. This year, as part of our organisation’s commitment to stop abuse and gender-based violence, IMATU has made a donation to People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA). A non-profit organisation based in Berea, Johannesburg.

POWA established the first shelter in 1981, the first of its kind that accommodated women and their children. The main objective of the shelter is to provide a safe, therapeutic environment, were abused women can begin to deal with their situations and receive the necessary support. Presently POWA has two shelters situated in the East and West Rand and a 2nd Stage House. Survivors are accommodated for up to a year. This organisation provides professional services that comprise of advocacy, training, psycho-social support, legal and sheltering to survivors of violence.

POWA is committed to enhancing the quality of life of all women and girls and has expanded its capacity building efforts to assisting emerging organisations in Limpopo, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga provinces, which in turn leads to better access for women from rural and under-resourced areas.

Our members are encouraged to wear white ribbons in support of 16 Days of Activism (25 November-10 December 2018), create an environment at work that enables victims to report abuse, increase awareness, engage around the difficult topic of gender violence and celebrate survivors.

IMATU is proud to support this initiative and encourage our members to continue taking a stand against all forms of violence and abuse.

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IMATU DISAPPOINTED BY INTEREST RATE INCREASE

salaryThe Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is disappointed by the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) decision to increase the current repurchasing rate by 0.25%.

“While we acknowledge the Monetary Policy Committee’s mandate to manage inflationary increases, this decision will further constrain domestic growth and place consumers under even more pressure just before Christmas. Like all South Africans, our members are already feeling the financial pinch of increasing living costs, undue fuel cost increases, growing debt and decreasing disposable income. Increased interest rates put excessive and unaffordable pressure on workers,” explained IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU further noted with concern that a number of the factors listed by the SARB Governor for this increase, pertain to domestic policy certainty, decisive implementation and the creation of employment opportunities. “Notwithstanding other negative shocks, we as a country have the ability to address some of the factors directly affecting inflation. Our government has got to tackle financial mismanagement, corruption and ineffective leadership in order to foster an environment of growth and increased employment,” stated Koen.

IMATU SUPPORTS PEOPLE OPPOSING WOMEN ABUSE (POWA)

As we start focusing our advocacy efforts ahead of the international campaign 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, and as part of our continual commitment to stop this gender-based violence IMATU has made a donation to People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA). A non-profit organisation based in Berea, Johannesburg.

POWA established the first shelter in 1981, the first of its kind that accommodated women and their children. The main objective of the shelter is to provide a safe, therapeutic environment, were abused women can begin to deal with their situations and receive the necessary support. Presently POWA has two shelters situated in the East and West Rand and a 2nd Stage House. Survivors are accommodated for up to a year. This organisation provides professional services that comprise of advocacy, training, psycho-social support, legal and sheltering to survivors of violence.

POWA is committed to enhancing the quality of life of all women and girls and has expanded its capacity building efforts to assisting emerging organisations in Limpopo, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga provinces, which in turn leads to better access for women from rural and under-resourced areas.

Our members are encouraged to wear white ribbons in support of 16 Days of Activism (25 November-10 December 2018), create an environment at work that enables victims to report abuse, increase awareness, engage around the difficult topic of gender violence and celebrate survivors.

IMATU and it’s members are proud to support this organisation and the important work it does!

Please follow this link for more information about the organisation and what they do https://www.powa.co.za/POWA/

IMATU PUSHES FOR PAY AT THE WEST RAND MUNICIPALITY

Our President, Stanley Khoza, made a special visit to Gauteng this week, to engage with members at the West Rand Municipality yesterday.

Municipal employees have not been paid salaries and third-party benefit contributions have been disrupted as a direct result of its dire financial situation. The West Rand Municipality invested approximately R70 million with the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank and workers are bearing the brunt of this mismanagement and poor financial regulation.

IMATU has been advised that the West Rand Municipality has been placed under provincial administration.

While IMATU has been assured by municipal management that salaries will be paid, the union must plan for all eventualities and always in the best interest of its members.

IMATU OPPOSES MASS RETRENCHMENT AT INKOSI LANGALIBALELE MUNICIPALITY

The Independent Municipal and Allied Workers Union (IMATU) will oppose the Section 189A notice lodged by the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality last week.

“The Municipality currently employs 598 employees, but intends to retrench 248 of these employees next year. This is just the latest attempt by the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality to reduce expenditure by downsizing municipal staff as opposed to addressing the real problem of poor financial management. The municipality was established in 2016 after the amalgamation of the Imbabazane and uMtshezi local municipalities. Despite its fairly new establishment, the municipality was placed under Administration by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in 2017 and its financial woes have only gotten worse. Municipal management should be focused on addressing their unsustainable financial practices instead of attempting to retrench half their workforce, which will directly affect service,” explained eThekwini Regional Manager, Cathi Botes.

In July 2018, the Municipality sought to unilaterally adjust and deduct employees’ salaries. Upon hearing of this intended action, IMATU immediately wrote to the acting municipal manager and advised that an urgent application would be launched to prevent the proposed contravened the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. As a result of IMATU’s intervention, no undue adjustments or deductions were made to a single workers salary.

In September 2018 the Municipality then requested an exemption from the rightful implementation of the Salary and Wage Collective Agreement that came in to effect from 1 July 2018. The Municipality claimed that it was not able to pay any annual increases to employees’ salaries. IMATU again filled apposing papers and the Municipality withdrew the application the following month and affected payments to employees, with retrospective effect.

“Municipalities are constitutionally mandated to provide services to communities in a sustainable manner. The municipal workforce is pivotal in ensuring the provision of these services and the salaries of workers must be provided for in any municipality’s budget. In their Section 189A Notice the Municipality outlines the need for restructuring and retrenchment due to its poor financial position. Despite claims by the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality that they could not afford the annual salary increases, IMATU can confirm that their financial statements reflect R 131 688 000 surplus in 2017-18 financial year,” stated Botes.

IMATU will vehemently oppose any threats to the conditions of service or job security of our members.

Members will be kept updated of any developments in this regard.

HAPPY DIWALI

IMATU would like to wish our Hindu members a Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year ahead!

IMATU COMMENDS FIRE FIGHTERS

IMATU would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the fire fighters involved in fighting the fires raging in the Southern Cape.

One blaze started in the Outeniqua mountains last week, moving towards George, while a separate fire broke out closer to Knynsa, where eight people tragically lost their lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives and our brave fire fighters who risk their lives on daily basis to protect and rescue.

IMATU commends the efforts of the emergency services and hopes that these fires will be brought under control soon.

IMATU REJECTS MEDIOCRE FIRE FIGHTERS INCREASE

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) has rejected a Facilitator’s Proposal relating to shift allowances for Fire and Rescue Services employees in the City of Cape Town.

Negotiations between the City of Cape Town and organised labour, being conducted under the auspices of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) deadlocked. Parties to the SALGBC are in dispute regarding payment for work performed in excess of the City of Cape Town’s normal working hours.

“It is true that the current collective agreement makes provision for a monthly allowance of 22.8 % of an employee’s salary in lieu of the additional and excessive working hours they must work. It is also true that this allowance has not been adequately increased to account for years of inflationary increases. We all rely on our fire fighters to bravely protect and serve yet do not make their ability to provide for themselves and their families a priority,” stated Cape Town Metro Regional Manager, Etienne Bruwer.

“IMATU has referred the matter to essential services arbitration as fire fighters and other related emergency services staff are classified as essential services and therefore precluded from protected strike action,” explained Bruwer.

The matter is set down for conciliation on 30 October 2018. Should no settlement be reached through conciliation, the matter will proceed to formal arbitration.

“While our legal representatives have been briefed, IMATU believes that the matter can still be settled through negotiation. We have been interacting with the Executive Mayor’s Office and believe that with strategic intervention, the plight of fire fighters can be adequately addressed,” concluded Bruwer.