Mayor Dan Plato File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Mayor Dan Plato File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Union slams Plato over no wage increase proposal

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town – The SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) says it has received an “influx” of calls from City of Cape Town employees and members expressing their anger towards mayor Dan Plato's proposal to skip wage increases for workers this year.

Plato made the announcement during the tabling of the City's proposed annual budget on Wednesday, saying included in the expenditure cuts in the 2021/22 financial year is a R460 million cut in staffing and contracting services, and a “zero percent cost of living increase in the salaries and wages provision in the 2021/2022 financial year”.

Plato said the City would petition the SA Local Government Bargaining Council to not award any salary increases for staff and councillors.

Samwu deputy general secretary Dumisani Magagula said workers in the City “will not fold their arms or look the other way while their workforce is being slashed following the announcement”.

“According to Plato, the proposed cuts of R460m will be achieved through the freezing of salaries for workers, this despite the fact that salary and wages are already at an infant state in the South African Local Government Local Government Bargaining Council.

“We can assure the mayor that workers in the City are not going to fold their arms and watch while he undermines collective bargaining which came as a result of the blood and sweat of workers. We as workers will not look the other way and smile.

“As Samwu, we are opposed to the freezing of salaries of municipal workers who have been carrying the country throughout the pandemic,” he said.

Magagula slated political parties, which it said were using workers issues for “politicking”.

“Salary and wage negotiations in local government are negotiated in the SALGBC of which no political party, including the ANC and DA, are not party to.

“Their interference in this ongoing process is nothing but opportunistic and undermines collective bargaining,” he said.

The ANC caucus in the City said the proposals were an “indication of the poor calibre” of leadership.

In his speech, Plato announced rates hikes – a 4.5% increase for rates; 5% increase for water and sanitation; and 3.5% for refuse removal.

The electricity tariff will be increased by 13%.

“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,“ Plato said.

SALGBC did not respond to questions by deadline.

Cape Times

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