Municipal workers to return to work tomorrow

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pretoria - Municipal workers will be returning to work on Monday, after unions and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) reached an agreement late on Friday afternoon.

Last week, municipal services were severely affected as thousands on municipal workers around the country downed tools demanding a better wages and the filling of vacant posts across municipalities.

A deal was struck between the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) and Salga on Friday afternoon.

The agreement entails a 13 percent increment in the minimum wage of workers from R3352 to R3850 from July this year. This will increase to R4000 in January 2010.

The agreement will also result in a housing subsidy for workers rising to 1000 from 85000. It will rise to 11000 next year and to 13500 in 2011.

The agreement further makes provision for those vacant posts to be filled by June next year.

Speaking to BuaNews on Sunday Samwu's General Secretary Mthandeki Nhlapo said the strike had been officially called off. "We signed an agreement on Friday following consultation with our members."

Originally Samwu had demanded a 15 percent wage increase while Imatu had wanted a 13 percent increase.

In its ordinary meeting on Wednesday, Cabinet condemned the violent strikes in recent weeks, saying that law enforcement agencies will act against those who act outside the law.

The municipal marches, especially in Johannesburg saw the trashing of streets with workers overturning rubbish bins.

Salga was not available for comment on Sunday.