Eskom unions set wage demands


Johannesburg - Three trade unions for Eskom employees have submitted their demands ahead of this year's salary negotiations, the power utility said on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said the negotiation process would begin next week.

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050910 Electricity pylons carry power from Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant July 17, 2009. South Africa will need 20 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity by 2020 and would require double that amount a decade later to meet rising demand, the country's power utility said September 7, 2009. Picture taken July 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA ENERGY BUSINESS)

Lists of demands were received from the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and Solidarity.

Numsa demanded entry level workers be paid R12,500 as part of a one-year wage agreement and that minimum wage workers be moved to the maximum in their pay scales from July.

In relation to medical aid contributions, it wanted Eskom to pay 80 percent, with employees contributing the balance.

Numsa wanted the monthly housing allowance increased by R3000 to R5000 and a transport subsidy of R300 per month, and for the standby allowance to be increased.

The union sought six months maternity leave on full pay, and an increase on the 10 days paternity leave now offered.

Other demands included extending death benefits to workers' families, an essential service agreement allowance of R1000, and free solar geysers for staff.

In addition, Numsa demanded that Eskom stop using the services of labour brokers from the beginning of July.

The NUM wanted average monthly increases ranging from R3000 to R3500, depending on workers' job grades, extended to all employees covered in the bargaining unit.

It echoed Numsa's demands on housing allowances and also wanted staff personal housing loans upped from R75,000 to R120,000 in a one-year wage agreement.

The NUM demanded the essential service allowance to be increased to R1500.

For maternity leave the union wanted five months on full pay and the sixth month leave at 30 percent of basic salary.

It also wanted annual leave increased to 25 calendar days, an additional two days for each month of completed service on a pro rata basis, and 21 days of contingency leave per cycle.

The NUM demanded 50 days of trade union leave each year per business unit and another 20 days for each part-time shop steward to attend training courses.

It further wanted Eskom's disciplinary code and procedures, as well as grievance procedures and recognition agreements, reviewed according to best practice.

Solidarity demanded a 12 percent wage increase across the board, and also a one-year agreement.

It wanted a R3500 housing benefit per employee and a fixed daily subsistence allowance of R550 per day.

The union demanded an R85 standby allowance and subsidised telephone allowance, but where an employee wanted to use a private cellphone Eskom should pay R800 per month.

For workers acting in higher positions, Solidarity wanted workers to receive a 10 percent increase in basic salary after 14

days in an acting role. After six months of acting, the worker should be appointed to the position.

Other demands included that the weekly rest period be extended to at least 48 consecutive hours and a R1000 electricity allowance for each worker. - Sapa

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