THE South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) announced on Thursday that it will be embarking on countrywide membership consultations following the conclusion of yet another round of salary and wage negotiations for municipal workers in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
The public sector union says the purpose of these consultations will be to give members feedback on the developments in the negotiations wherein the employer body, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), presented various scenarios for consideration by parties in the SALGBC.
“As a mandate driven organization, we are duty bound to convene these meetings which will take place as constituency meetings in all workplaces across the country wherein the scenarios presented by the employer would be given to members for a decision to be made on the way forward,” said SAMWU’s deputy general secretary Dumisane Magagula.
“Since the first round of negotiations and as mandated by the National Collective Bargaining Conference, we remain committed to these negotiations and will continually and frequently consult with our members on the developments in the bargaining council.”
Magagula said Samwu’s national secretariat will be sending to structures of the union a detailed report of the outcomes of this round of negotiations.
This report will form basis of our engagements and consultation with structures where a comprehensive response will be formulated as a response that Samwu will give in the next round of negotiations, to be held from the 3rd to 4th of June.
“We therefore urge our members and all workers to make sure that they attend these constituency meetings and be part of the decision-making process of the union. After the constituency meetings, the union will then convene a Special National Executive Committee meeting which shall properly package a response to members,” said Magagula.
“As SAMWU, we remain committed to the mandate given by our members and as such we shall strive to ensure that these negotiations are concluded in the best interest of our members, including taking our members on board throughout these negotiations.”
He added: “We are further committed to this negotiation process but will not sell out workers or compromise their interests, ours is to ensure that municipal workers receive salary and wage increases that would ensure that they are able to live a decent life.”
The union has further taken a decision that a letter will be written to SALGA President Thembi Nkadimeng and the CEO, Xolile George, requesting them to form part of the next round of negotiations.
“We are of the view that their presence will ensure that the employer makes significant moves in the negotiation table and ensure that these negotiations are concluded timeously,” said Magagula.
“ SAMWU further takes this opportunity to scold SALGA following a statement they released on 12 May wherein they seek to create an impression that parties in the bargaining council are warming up to each other and that an agreement will be reached soon,” he said.
He said SALGA is creating the impression that as a result of municipal revenue collection declining, labour is intent on compromising the interests of workers.
“From the onset, SAMWU has always maintained that workers cannot be blamed for fraud, corruption, maladministration and inefficiencies in municipalities which included under and non-collection of revenue,” he said.
“We therefore reiterate that our members should attend these constituency meetings and prepare themselves to defend gains that have been made in the yesteryears.”
- Inside Politics