The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has proposed a 2.8% salary increase for the 2021 salary and wage negotiations at the SA Local Government Bargaining Council. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has proposed a 2.8% salary increase for the 2021 salary and wage negotiations at the SA Local Government Bargaining Council. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Salga wants a 2.8% salary increase for municipalities across SA

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Apr 14, 2021

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Cape Town - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has proposed a 2.8% salary increase for the 2021 salary and wage negotiations at the SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).

The proposal comes against the backdrop of the national government’s intention to offer 0% to national and provincial government workers.

Last week representatives from different public sector unions warned that a strike is likely unless the government concedes to their wage demands that they have tabled in the bargaining council for the year.

Salga argues that municipalities are facing severe financial constraints as national government transfers have been cut and local taxpayer arrears rise.

Salga spokesperson Sivuyile Mbambato said: “Key to the elements of Salga’s proposal is an across-the-board salary increase of 2.8% for the 2021/2022 financial year, which is 1.5% below the projected CPI and a total freeze of increases on all benefits that are linked to salary increases.

“Considering that the municipalities sector has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, these negotiations represent a critical point in efforts to save municipalities from complete financial collapse.”

Absa economist Peter Worthington said: “While the 2.8% offer from Salga is likely only an opening employer offer and the settlement will likely be higher, the municipal wage negotiations might still offer some signal of where national and provincial government workers could settle.

"The government, represented by the public service administration, has not yet tabled a counterproposal to the unions’ demands which they filed at the start of March."

In the City’s municipal budget proposed for the year 2021/22, mayor Dan Plato said the council had asked the government, in its negotiations with the Salga and the relevant bargaining council, not to insist on another inflation-beating salary and wage increase for all municipal employees in the country.

Plato said: “Should the bargaining council not agree to our request, and bind us to making ill-advised increases, the City’s staff numbers will have to be decreased as there simply are not enough funds for both.”

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court set August 24 as the date to hear public sector unions’ appeal over the state’s decision not to implement the third year of the 2018 public service wage agreement.

Cape Argus

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