Update on Salary and Wage Negotiations

Extension of Conciliation Process
The first round of the conciliation process was held on 19-20 July 2021 before commissioner Mr H Ndaba.


The Conciliator met with each party privately to discuss possible settlement proposals. On the first day, the trade unions developed and consolidated their settlement proposals and submitted the same to SALGA for consideration. SALGA in turn submitted their counter-proposals on the second day. The trade unions subsequently requested more time to consider SALGA’s counter proposals.


In the meantime, SALGA requested a bi-lateral leadership meeting with IMATU to discuss the wage negotiations. This meeting is expected to take place during the course of next week.


In view of the above developments, the conciliation was extended and will resume on 2-3 August 2021.


All concerned parties will be notified of further developments.

Ms. Cathi Nel as IMATU’s new Deputy General Secretary for Operations

We are extremely excited to announce the appointment of Ms. Cathi Nel as IMATU’s new Deputy General Secretary for Operations.

Cathi matriculated at Kimberley Girls High in the Northern Cape in 1992. Thereafter she obtained B. Proc and LLB degrees from the University of the Free State. She is currently completing the final year of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Prior to joining IMATU in 2005, Cathi was in private practice as an admitted attorney of the High Court and was a prosecutor with the National Prosecuting Authority.

Cathi joined IMATU in 2005 as the Regional Manager for the Northern Cape Region. After a restructuring of the organisation, Cathi was deployed to the Eastern Cape Region and subsequently became Regional Manager for the eThekwini and Kwa-Zulu Natal Regions in 2016.

Cathi has extensive senior management experience, which includes strategic and financial management over and above operational management. She will bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to this senior management position.

Cathi is in the process of handing over operations in the eThekwini and Kwa-Zulu Natal Regions and will join the national office full time from 1 September this year. Cathi has two children, Ina a first-year student and Hennie a high school scholar and her partner, Thomas, who will be relocating with Cathi to Pretoria.

We wish Cathi all the best for the next phase of her career and we are confident that she will lead IMATU’s operations with great distinction.      

Update on Salary and Wage Negotiations

Notice of Conciliation

The SALGBC has issued a notice of conciliation in IMATU’s wage negotiations dispute today.

The conciliation hearing has been scheduled for 19-20 July 2021.

A new conciliator Mr H. Ndaba has been appointed to conciliate the matter.

All three parties have declared separate disputes which have been consolidated to be dealt with on the same date.

All concerned parties will be notified of further developments.

Update on Salary and Wage Negotiations

The fourth round of wage negotiations was held on 1 July 2021, via a virtual platform under the auspices of the facilitator Ms N Bisiwe. 

The negotiation session, scheduled for 2 days, ended unexpectedly on the first day as the other trade union party declared a deadlock. 

IMATU had a separate session with the facilitator and indicated that although we have not accepted the facilitator’s proposal, we believed that a number of issues in the facilitator’s proposal could be improved, and we were prepared to negotiate on that basis. 

SALGA indicated that they too are prepared to negotiate further but stressed that they had a difficult mandate due to the financial position of their member municipalities.

The other trade union, however, formally declared a deadlock and stated they will declare a dispute. They also made it clear that they are not prepared to negotiate any further. 

IMATU indicated that we are not formally in deadlock, but we are fully prepared to move to the next stage which is to declare a dispute. The SALGBC will then be required to schedule a conciliation hearing where the matter can be further negotiated. 

On this basis, discussions were brought to a close. 

Given that one party has declared a deadlock and no further rounds of negotiation have been agreed to, the next logical next step is for IMATU also to declare a dispute and deal with the matter in the conciliation process that will follow. Preparations for a dispute declaration are currently in progress and will be finalised shortly. 

This is a preliminary update. A more comprehensive circular will be issued in due course.

IMATU PRESS RELEASE

National Wage Negotiations in the Local Government Sector Edging Towards a Facilitator’s Proposal to Break Impasse

The third round of salary and wage negotiations in the Local Government sector were held in Durban on 3 and 4 June 2021.

IMATU has been locked in negotiations with the employer, SALGA, since April 2021.

The negotiations are being conducted against the backdrop of many municipal employees being under extreme financial pressure due to escalating living costs and the impact of the pandemic on their families as well as many municipalities finding itself under financial pressure.

The negotiating parties have fully ventilated their respective positions before the facilitator of the negotiations, Ms Naledi Bisiwe, in an attempt to identify common areas for possible settlement. The parties are still at loggerheads over a number of issues, but areas of possible settlement have been canvassed with the facilitator.


The issues that are the subject matter of the negotiations are:
• An appropriate and affordable across the board increase (the employer is currently offering a below inflation increase, whilst IMATU has revised its position to a 7% across the board increase);
• The duration of an agreement (the unions have demanded a one-year agreement, whilst the employer favours a 3-year agreement);
• The impact of the across the board increases on benefits payable to employees;
• A new exemption procedure that will streamline the process for financially distressed municipalities to apply for exemption from the wage agreement;
• An “Opt-Out” clause that will allow any of parties to exercise an option to renegotiate the wage agreement in very specific circumstance, for example a situation similar to the current state of disaster;
• Improvement on maternity benefits, paternity benefits and the regulation of vulnerable EPWP workers.


The facilitator has indicated she will issue a facilitator’s proposal, identifying the terms of a possible settlement, to the parties and the sector by Tuesday, 8 June 2021.

IMATU will be convening a special meeting of its National Executive Council on Wednesday, 9 June 2021, to consider the anticipated facilitator’s proposal.  Thereafter IMATU will be consulting its members for a final mandate.

IMATU is hopeful that an amicable settlement can be reached, and an agreement be concluded.

Issued by IMATU National Office

UPDATE ON SALARY AND WAGE NEGOTIATIONS: SECOND ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS

The second round of wage negotiations was held in Durban from 10 to 12 May 2021. The negotiations took place under the auspices of the SALGBC appointed facilitator, Ms N. Bisiwe.

SALGA indicated that they may revise their opening offer from 2.8% to 3%, if the trade unions will consider their proposal on a total freeze of increases to benefits and conditions of service. SALGA, however, stated that this should not be seen as a formal proposal, but rather an attempt to explore options for settlement.

SALGA further highlighted their mandated preference for a multi-year agreement and indicated that they are prepared to reconsider their demand for a freeze on increases to benefits for year two and year three, if the trade unions will consider entering into a multi-year agreement.

IMATU stated that SALGA’s demand for total freeze of increases on benefits will have significant implications and cannot be acceded to at this stage. Moreover, IMATU cannot consider SALGA’s proposal on a multi-year agreement as SALGA has not made any proposals on what increases should be implemented in year 2 and year 3 of such an agreement.

The trade unions have decided to consolidate their demands into a single joint trade union demand. In order to make progress, the trade unions adjusted their demands as follows:

No.SubjectDemand
1.Across the board increase§  7% or R2500,00, whichever is the greater.
2.Minimum wage§  7% or R2500,00, whichever is the greater.
3.Housing allowance§  Increased to R2 000.00 p/m.
4.Gap Market allowance§  Increased to R2 000.00 p/m.§  Threshold increased to R 22 000.00.
5.Benefits and Conditions of Service linked to Salaries§     Increased by the same percentage as the across-the-board wage increase (7%).
6.Maximum Employer Medical Aid Contribution§     Increased by the same percentage as the across-the-board wage increase (7%).
7.Duration of the Agreement§  A single year agreement.
8.Scope of the Agreement§  Agreement to cover EPWP workers as well.

On this basis, discussions were brought to a close.

As is evident from this feedback report, the second round of negotiations have yielded little progress as SALGA’s wage offer still remains below inflation. The facilitator, however, requested parties to properly consider the pressures each party is under as well as the difficult economic circumstances prevailing in the country, which makes it the most complex wage negotiations on record.

It is important to note that what happened in the second round of negotiations are merely opening manoeuvres and there is no talk of fixed positions yet. The parties are still a long way from finding common ground and significant hurdles remain. Negotiations are ongoing and we expect some intense bargaining to occur during the third round of negotiations.

The next round of wage negotiations shall take place on 3 and 4 June 2021 in Durban.

Regions will be kept informed as the matter progresses.

Amathole District Municipality (ADM): Announcement on the Non-Payment of Employees’ Salaries for the months of February, April, May and June 2021

IMATU is deeply disturbed by the announcement of the ADM in its circular issued on 7 January 2021 advising, amongst others, that the employees of the municipality will not be receiving their salaries for the months of February, April, May and June 2021.

The announcement comes against a background of a prolonged strike by the workers, continuous service delivery protests by communities in Mbashe, Mnquma, Amahlathi and Ngqushwa municipalities, as well as the failure by the municipality to provide adequate basic water supply to its surrounding communities and to properly maintain infrastructure.

The announcement furthermore comes in a wake of the ADM having received an amount of R 336 million as an Equitable Share from National Treasury on 8 December 2020.

The announcement fails to consider the impact on the livelihoods of the employees, and their obligations and responsibilities outside the work environment. Such a step will have a devastating effect on the employees, their families and the broader communities of the ADM.

The conduct of the municipality is an attempt to erode the workers’ hard-fought rights and blatantly undermines the spirit of collective bargaining. To this day, the municipality has failed to implement the salary increases for workers as per the collective agreement concluded at the SALGBC.

IMATU is of the strong view that the issuing of the circular by the municipality is a tactical bad faith ploy that coincides with an exemption ruling of the bargaining council’s exemption panel, which compels the municipality to pay increase to workers for 2020/21. The municipality is playing a very dangerous game with the livelihoods of the workers.

IMATU will be approaching the Labour Court on an urgent basis to stop this heinous conduct of the municipality. Our legal team has already been instructed to draw up the relevant application and a punitive cost order will be sought against the municipality.

IMATU wishes to point out the serious underperformance and lack of accountability portrayed by the Municipal Manager, Dr TT Mnyimba as well as his history of poor financial management and maladministration. Not only has he collapsed the ADM’s finances but also that of Sundays River Valley and Ngqushwa Municipalities, where he dismally failed as the Accounting Officer. Despite his poor track record, he remains appointed as Municipal Manager of the ADM.

IMATU further wishes to call upon the National Treasury to institute a forensic audit in respect of the finances of the Municipality.

We further wish to call upon the Office of MEC of COGTA in the Eastern Cape to place the Municipal Manager on a pre cautionary suspension pending an investigation into the poor financial management of the ADM.

IMATU Tswane & Limpopo Newsletter

There is an old saying, “Don’t cry because it is over; smile because it happened.” Yes, it is time to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year. 2020 has reshaped traditional greetings in that we will forget about fortune in the New Year and rely on keeping your good health. Instead of well-worn appeals of prosperity, we are telling each other to be free from sickness and be safe.


Although 2020 was challenging considering the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, IMATU succeeded to have achieved its goals in protecting the rights and interest of our members. The New Year will no doubt have its own challenges and opportunities. Notwithstanding these challenges we will continue to act in the best interest of our members. We will strive to further improve our member’s welfare, job security and to maintain social harmony and stability.


Not all our members will be able to take leave, and we pay tribute to those who during the festive season will provide emergency services.


The exchange of festive greetings is an integral part of staying connected to our loved ones. Through these greetings we convey our festive message of goodwill to them.


As IMATU we wish you and your family the gifts of love, peace, happiness and good health. Have a blessed Festive Season and a prosperous 2021.

UNTIMELY DEATH OF THREE TSHWANE METRO POLICE OFFICERS

IMATU is shocked and saddened to hear about the untimely death of three (3) Metro Police Officers.

Constables Mukuevho, Phaduli and Phala were killed in a collision with a suspected drunk driver on Sunday 23 August 2020, while performing their duties to ensure the safety of road users.

IMATU would like to send its sincere condolences to their families and colleagues.  Our thoughts of sympathy and support are with them during this difficult time.