File image:Striking Satawu members

CAPE TOWN - The security sector employers should rethink and improve the insulting offer they are offering the officers to avoid a strike, said the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) on Thursday.

According to a statement issued on behalf of the union, the members are demanding that a grade A security officer is paid a basic salary of R8 500,  a grade B officer deserves R 8 000 and a grade C officer should be paid R 7 500.

"Our members also want employers to introduce medical aid cover and contribute 60% towards it."

Also read: Dis-Chem Pharamcies reaches agreement with union to end workers' strike

In this round of negotiations, Satawu intends to scrap the current wage structure which pays workers according to the area they work in. "For instance, a security officer stationed in Area 1 (mainly urban areas like Johannesburg and Stellenbosch) earns more than an officer posted in Area2. Satawu is calling for the abolishment of Area 2," the union said.

Leaves, allowances and shifts

Satawu is also calling for the scrapping of conditions attached to the payment of the annual bonus and for it to become a 13th cheque.

"We are also looking for six months fully-paid maternity leave and for study leave to be upped to six days per module or subject. We also want the amount paid for long service to be hiked up. Currently, the long service allowance for five years is R500, we are demanding long service starts at two years with an allowance of R1 500".

Workers are demanding a housing allowance of R1 800. The current 12-hour shift should be reduced to 8-hour shift; with a  double pay for a Sunday work and a nightshift allowance of R200 per shift.

Wage negotiations in the security industry take place once every three years and are usually held at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). 

Also read: Matshela Koko refuses to step down

However, this year Satawu and other unions in the sector opted to negotiate a one-year agreement valid from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2019, as the national minimum wage is set to be introduced this year.

Satawu concluded by saying, "We call on employers to take heed of the Commissioner’s advice and put an improved offer on the table when talks resume on 13 to 19 February, failing which we will have no option but to embark on a strike".

Top story: Sweatcoin helps you gain cryptocurrency for being physically active