IMATU’s opening demands are an across the board salary increase of 15% or R3 155, whichever is the greater, a minimum wage increase of R10 000 per month and a housing allowance of R2 000 per month.
“We believe that our demands are a good starting point from which to open the negotiations. We have taken account of the rising cost of living, economic conditions of the country and the impact thereof on the disposable income of our members. We have also analysed the financial position of municipalities and we believe that we can provide clear motivations and make a business case for our demands,” explained General Secretary, Johan Koen.
At present, workers are battling high prices and high debt levels. The cost of basic necessities is constantly increasing and disposable income is decreasing. IMATU is responsible for securing wage increases that afford our members the basics for quality of life, adequate safe shelter, food, utilities, transport, health care, some recreation, education for themselves and their children, childcare and saving for retirement, as well as a wage which allows them to be free of onerous debt.
IMATU has taken a firm decision to ditch positional bargaining in favour of a more interest based approach, which is less adversarial and more focused on finding solutions. This has resulted in a more productive relationship between the negotiating parties and we want to keep it that way.
“Negotiations are expected to be difficult and will in all likelihood require a great deal of skill, resilience and resolve. We however, have every confidence that our negotiators will be able to rise to the challenge and arrive at a beneficial settlement in the interest of our members and the sector as a whole,” stated Koen.
IMATU has never shied away from putting productivity and service delivery improvement on the table and we will continue to deal with these issues as long as it does not lead to job losses. “This is in line with what Andrew Levy calls the ‘self-funding wage increase’. We concluded a Service Charter with SALGA last year that set the parameters for improving service delivery. IMATU has gone to great lengths to instil a strong work ethic in our members and emphasise the value of their work, which directly improves the lives of the citizens of South Africa,” he explained.
The parties have agreed on an accelerated time-table for negotiations and the first round is scheduled for 4-5 December 2017, under the guidance of facilitator Moe Ally.
Members from our Tshwane Region were invited to attend the increasingly popular Women’s Wellness Day function, and this year did not disappoint! Attendees were treated to high tea, guest speakers, display stalls and some lucky draw prizes. What a fantastic way to acknowledge and thank women in the workplace.
“Numerous requests to meet with the newly elected Municipal Management team to discuss our growing concerns have gone ignored. IMATU has maintained a good working relationship with the previous eThekwini Mayor and Municipal Manager and cannot understand why the incoming leadership would wish to start their tenure along such adversarial lines. As the majority union in the eThekwini Municipality, IMATU must be consulted when making decisions that directly affect our members,” stated IMATU President and eThekwini Regional Chairperson, Stanley Khoza.
IMATU’s decision to picket today highlights the union’s dissatisfaction with the conduct of the eThekwini Municipality’s leadership. Lack of consultation and continued disinterest in the rights of municipal workers have further exacerbated the following areas of contention;
• The continued failure to adequately consult with IMATU before making decisions that directly affect its members.
• The wilful delaying and subsequent deadlocking of negotiations around the payment of Group Life and Conditions of Service.
• The abuse of EPWP workers, many of whom are employed for years longer than their contracts stipulate and never made permanent
“As the majority union operating in the eThekwini Municipality, IMATU calls on the employer to return to the negotiating table in order to meaningfully engage around the issues raise. We believe in building a sustainable local government however, this commitment must be met by the necessary political will,” concluded Khoza.
The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) welcomes the decision of the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Lesetja Kganyago, to reduce the current repo rate from 7% to 6.75%.
“While we welcome the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to reduce interest rates, this decision will not in and of itself stimulate growth or produce more jobs. Like all South Africans, our members are really feeling the financial pinch of increasing living costs and decreasing disposable income. Increased interest rates would put excessive and unaffordable pressure on workers,” explained IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.
Amidst the country’s rather bleak economic outlook, IMATU encourages its members to use this small financial reprieve to save and urges South Africa’s political principals to provide decisive leadership and policy certainty.
“Each year we are reminded of the 67 years of his life that the late Nelson Mandela gave fighting for the rights of humanity, equality, justice and democracy all South Africans enjoy today. We are pleased to be one of many organisations donating 67 minutes of our time or resources to make a difference in the lives of others. As a union representing local government employees throughout South Africa, we ensure that all of our Regional Offices take part in this special day and contribute towards positive change within their communities,” explained IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.
The IMATU National Office will again be donating stationery, teaching aids and furniture to foundation phase learners at the Kaalfontein Primary School in Midrand. “Kaalfontein Primary has had to accommodate an influx of new Grade R learners and this new furniture and teaching material will really assist both educators and the learners in their everyday activities at school,” said Koen.
Staff from our Gauteng Region are donating toiletries to the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg.
Members from the Mangaung Branch and staff from the Free State Regional Office will be visiting the newly established Talitha Cumi Safe Haven for Children. The Hantam Branch in Calvinia, will join the Grade 3 learners of Hantam Primary School, to conduct a town clean-up. After the clean-up initiative has been completed, IMATU members will provide the 175 learners with a snack pack. Members from the Ventersdorp/Tlokwe Branch will be participating in the Nelson Mandela Charity Race, scheduled to take place on 22 July 2017 in the City of Matlosana. In addition, various other Branches from our North West Region have pledged to support local government initiatives that are collecting sanitary towels and books for school girls in need.
As part of their Mandela Day efforts this year, the Johannesburg Region made a donation towards disaster relief efforts in the Knysna, Plett and surrounding areas and the Emalahleni Branch is coordinating a painting project at a community school.
The Eastern Cape Region will be hosting a tea for the residents of the Silver Crown Old Age Home, as well as donating care packages and toiletries.
The Tshwane Regional Office will be donating paint, groceries and clothing to the Tshwaranang Children’s home in Pretoria.
In the spirit of Mandela Day, our Cape Town Metro Region is making a considerable donation to the Fikelela Children’s Home in Khayelitsha and the Western Cape Region is donating soup and sandwiches to the needy in their communities.
The KwaZulu Natal Region is sponsoring soccer and netball clothing, medals, trophies and meals for the Kokstad Municipality’s Mandela Day sports tournament. The tournament is hosted for underprivileged youth in the area.
“The annual birthday of our former President Nelson Mandela has come to represent a day in which we remember what he in his individual capacity has done for our country and what we in turn can do for each other. IMATU is a proud supporter of Mandela Day,” concluded Koen.
So many South Africans have been directly and indirectly affected by the devastating fires that tore through the Knysna-Plett and surrounding areas last month. IMATU was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths and serious injuries sustained by firefighters, volunteers and members of the community.
As a union representing municipal employees, including firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, we knew we needed to step in and get involved in the relief efforts. IMATU is directly linked to numerous members and their families that have been affected by this natural disaster, both in their capacities as either EMS/DMS workers, municipal employees or as residents of the affected communities.
Our Cape Town and Western Cape Regional Offices jumped into action and immediately assessed the needs of members on the ground. Their generous donations were followed by further contributions by our remaining Regional Offices, bringing IMATU’s overall donation to R32 000. Part of this money was used to assist members whose houses and belongings were badly damaged or destroyed in the fires. The remaining amount was then donated to the Knysna Municipality’s Disaster Relief Fund.
While the fires have been extinguished, the hard work of rebuilding homes, municipal buildings and other important infrastructure is only just beginning. To assist or donate towards the Knysna relief efforts, please consult the Municipality’s website http://www.knysna.gov.za/news/official-banking-details-for-the-knysna-disaster-relief/ or follow updates on their social networking pages https://www.facebook.com/knysnamunicipality/.