Simon Mathe

RUSTENBURG - The South Africans Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) will consult union members on the revised wage offer, the union said on Wednesday.

General secretary Simon Mathe said the union was disappointed by salary and wage offer presented by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) at the third round of salary and wage negotiations in the Local Government Bargaining Council held in Durban. 

"We would consider this latest offer as laughable but as it affects the lives of our members. We deem it is a direct attack on their livelihoods. Salga has since revised its opening offer, but has shockingly presented an offer which has no substantial increments for our members ..."

He said Salga offered a multi-year agreement with an across the board salary increase of 5,9 percent, all allied demands to also increase by 5,9 percent and a housing allowance for individuals who own homes.

The union is demanding a single year agreement which includes an across the board 15 percent salary increase or R3,155, a minimum wage of R10,000 and R2,000 housing allowance for all employees.

He said the employer offered a mere R700 to those who were fortunate enough to qualify for housing finance through banks.

"It is the very same government which our members labour hard for which tells them that they do not qualify for RDP [low cost] housing but this is acceptable to Salga because municipal workers are mediocre. They would rather have workers renting shacks to demean them ..."

Mathe said municipal workers were finding it very difficult to keep up with the rising cost of living. The recently announced increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and fuel levies will exacerbate their problems.

He said the union will consult its members to find out if they accept the revised offer.

The last round of negotiations was scheduled to be held from 16 April.

- African News Agency (ANA)