The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is apprehensive heading into the third round of wage negotiations with the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) tomorrow morning in Johannesburg. Thus far SALGA has been slow to move on its opening wage offer and is yet to offer unions an increase relative to inflation.
SALGA, as the employer, needs to start demonstrating its commitment to this negotiation process by offering workers an inflationary related increase. IMATU members, like the majority of South Africans, are really feeling the pinch of unprecedented increases in the costs of electricity, fuel, food and public transport. We simply cannot entertain a wage increase less than inflation. IMATU also believes that the employer is negotiating in bad faith while it currently offers a dismal wage increase in the one hand and the termination of the Main Collective Agreement on the other. None of what SALGA is currently offering is close to acceptable and the parties are very unlikely to reach a settlement at this rate,” said IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.
IMATU has dropped its initial wage demand from 15% to 11,5%, a substantial move of 3.5% downwards from the first round. The South African Consumer Price index is currently at 6.1% yet SALGA has refused to up its wage offer remaining stagnant at 4,5%. On top of this, SALGA remains determined to terminate the main Collective Agreement which protects our members’ organisational rights and conditions of service such as working hours, overtime rates, maternity leave and sick leave.