SALGA ups its offer for municipal workers

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has upped its wage offer to municipal workers from 10.5 percent to 13 percent.

Thousands of municipal workers, belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) downed tools on Monday demanding a 15 percent wage increase.

Bus and refuse removal services as well as vehicle licensing centres were severely affected.

"There has been a significant movement by SALGA from a 10.5 percent to 13 percent offer from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 in an attempt to finalise and reach wage settlement," said SALGA in a statement on Monday.

It said the response had taken into consideration that municipalities were facing complex challenges and operating within the climate of a global economic recession.

"SALGA would like to express its appreciation not only to its Bargaining Council representatives but also to the unions, SAMWU and IMATU representatives, and other stakeholders for the work the done thus far.

"We are encouraged by the progress made and we are hopeful that the current proposal will be accepted," said the association.

Marching workers gathered in Pretoria early this morning and peacefully handed over a memorandum at the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality offices.

In the Johannesburg city centre, where the majority of workers were expected to march, there were reports of workers emptying rubbish bins on the streets but no incidents were reported.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said police were keeping their eye on the situation. "We are busy monitoring our CCTV cameras to see where some of these incidents are happening," she said.

National police spokesperson Director Phuti Setati said police had been deployed in all provinces where the strike was happening and apart from isolated cases of littering, there had been no major incidents

Meanwhile, the strike by Metrorail workers has been suspended after a new wage offer was tabled.

A revised offer was made by Metrorail on Sunday night responding to the union's demands concerning wages and fixed term contract workers.

The strike would have affected train users in major metropolitan areas like Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

The revised offer will be formalised and circulated to the union's members on Monday.