A special meeting of the SALGBC Central Council – Executive Committee was held yesterday. At this meeting, officials from National Treasury made a presentation to the SALGBC parties on the economic downturn on municipal finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Treasury stated that municipal finances have been hard hit by a reduction in revenue collection and it wanted the SALGBC parties to agree to give up wage increases for 2020/2021 and exempt all municipalities from paying the 6.25% wage increase.
IMATU, however, immediately launched into a detailed questioning of National Treasury’s figures and we proved conclusively that National Treasury’s presentation is based on exaggerations, baseless assumptions, claims not supported by facts and selective quoting from documents in order to build a case. The Treasury officials seemed to be caught off guard by IMATU’s sophisticated knowledge of municipal finances and they were completely flustered, unprepared and unable to answer IMATU’s questions. Ultimately giving confusing, senseless and disingenuous answers as an attempt to hide their embarrassment.
Most importantly, IMATU questioned whether municipal councillors are also being asked to forego their wage increases. The Treasury officials again had no answer, claiming that they have no control over councillor increases. Effectively, therefore, municipal employees are being asked to give up their increases but not municipal councillors.
After the National Treasury presentation was concluded, the SALGBC parties made the following decision:
Effectively, for now, this means that the salary and wage increase of 6.25%, effective from 1 July 2020, will proceed as stated in the SALGBC Circular.
However, in the event that National Treasury or SALGA make attempts to block the wage increase, IMATU will oppose such attempts by all means necessary. The wage increase is contained in a binding collective agreement and municipalities are compelled by law to adhere thereto.
Please note, however, that a very small number of individual municipalities have submitted exemption applications to the SALGBC to be exempted from paying the wage increase. IMATU is actively opposing such applications.
The National Office is preparing a more detailed circular on the National Treasury presentation and IMATU’s challenges thereto and will circulate the same in due course.
– END –
IMATU is the most progressive trade union representing our members in the local government sector. IMATU is a registered trade union striving for social transformation through sustainable local government.See www.imatu.co.za for more information
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Screenshot_20200618-152308_Google.jpg4811080Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-06-18 17:00:402020-06-18 17:01:52NEWSFLASH! IMATU OPPOSED TO ANY TREASURY INTERFERENCE IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAGE INCREASE FOR 2020/21
The Labour appeal court handed down a judgement last week in the Matusa appeal against the payment of an agency fee.
As we all know all non IMATU and Samwu members are compelled to pay the monthly agency fee to the SALGBC over and above the normal union fees should they belong to another union.
Matusa held the view that their members are not compelled to pay the agency fee and referred the matter to the labour court. The Labour Court found against Matusa, with costs and confirmed the obligation to pay agency fees. Matusa appealed the matter. IMATU opposed the appeal and the labour appeal Court confirmed the labour court judgement, again with cost against Matusa.
The effect of the Labour Appeal court judgement basically confirms that all Matusa and or Demawusa members are compelled to pay the agency fee over and above the union fees. Employers are also compelled to deduct these fees from all such non-members of IMATU and Samwu and pay same to the SALGBC.
Kindly ensure that all members are informed of this victory and monitor compliance should employees still opt to join these minority unions.
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/health.jpg4621164Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-05-14 16:08:492020-05-14 16:08:52Video produced by our strategic partner LA Health. We want to thank LA Health for their continued support of IMATU and our members.
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/WhatsApp-Image-2020-04-18-at-11.48.39.jpeg8991599Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-04-17 19:28:112020-04-20 07:29:27The SALGBC has commissioned a message of support to all workers in the local government sector as well as citizens of the country
Last night President Ramaphosa announced that the national lockdown will be extended by a further two weeks. On Friday, 1 May 2020, we will be celebrating Worker’s Day. It will thus be symbolic and appropriate for all workers to hopefully return to work from 2 May 2020.
During his announcement, the President also indicated that he will take a pay cut and contribute that portion of his salary to the Solidarity Fund. The Fund was established by government as one of its tools to fight the devastating impact of the Coronavirus on the South African economy.
Shortly after the President’s announcement, a major political party as well as the City of Ekurhuleni indicated that its senior office bearers will also be taking pay cuts and contribute those funds to the Solidarity Fund. In the City of Ekurhuleni’s press release, the Executive Mayor, Cllr Mzwandile Masina, states that he will donate 33% of his salary to the Solidarity Fund. He then states that other Office Bearers and senior officials will also be donating a portion of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund. The Executive Mayor concludes by saying that officials (municipal employees) will also be requested to donate 5% of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund.
Unfortunately, it appears some stakeholders have misinterpreted the Executive Mayor’s announcement and this has caused widespread anxiety amongst local government employees. Some have interpreted Cllr Masina’s message as compelling employees to contribute a portion of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund. This view is not shared by IMATU.
The approach of Cllr Masina should be applauded. Every citizen and every organisation that can afford to contribute money to the Solidarity Fund should be encouraged to do so. Employees, however, can never be compelled to do so. Any attempt by any municipal employer to reduce the salaries of any employee, or any attempt to compel an employee to contribute to the Solidarity Fund would be unlawful and will be challenged in court by IMATU.
IMATU met with SALGA’s (the national employer’s organisation) representative on 8 April 2020 and we can categorically state that the issue of a pay cut for municipal employees was not raised or discussed at all. In fact, SALGA is extremely conscious of the vital role that local government employees are playing in fighting the Coronavirus. To this end the parties have already agreed that a compensatory model will be discussed in the bargaining council once the national lockdown is over.
Members can be rest assured that IMATU will leave no stone unturned in protecting the rights of our members.
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Screenshot_20200410-192346_Chrome.jpg652968Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-04-10 19:59:352020-04-10 19:59:38No Pay Cut for Municipal Employees; Lockdown Extended and Solidarity Fund Contributions : COVID-19
We want to take this opportunity to salute and thank our members that are
at the forefront in fighting the COVID – 19 virus. Many IMATU members are
involved in essential services that are required to keep the country and the
economy afloat. IMATU members have heeded the call of our government to continue
working, despite the dangers associated with the coronavirus. On all accounts
essential services are running smoothly and uninterruptedly.
At this stage we are not sure whether President Ramaphosa is going to
extend the lockdown period, but irrespective of the decision of our government,
the fight against COVID – 19 is far from over. The lockdown is an attempt by
government to “flatten the curve” but it does not mean that the virus will be defeated
by 17 April 2020. We will have to continue the fight against the virus well
past this date.
The World Health Organisation referred to the pandemic as the biggest
threat to humanity since the Second World War. As at 8 April 2020, there were 1
487 870 confirmed infections, with 88 630 deaths in 184 countries (source: John
Hopkins University of Medicine). In South Africa we had 1 845 confirmed
infections, with 18 deaths according to the same source. It was reported
yesterday that more people in New York have died from the virus than did in
2001 with the attack on the World Trade Centre. We must bear in mind that our
winter is set to start in the next month and this may also play a very negative
role in the fight against the virus.
The aforesaid is testament to the fight that lies ahead for the country.
It also emphasises the very important role that municipalities and our members
are going to continue to play in the foreseeable future. IMATU is proud of our
members and their commitment to play a leading and decisive role in continuing
to deliver services to our communities.
Unfortunately, we have received a number of reports where
municipalities have not complied with their obligations to ensure a healthy and
safe working environment and/or are not providing employees with appropriate
safety equipment. To this end, a meeting of the SALGBC party representatives
was convened to discuss a number of pressing issues facing the sector (the
meeting was held via video conferencing so as to ensure compliance with the
It was agreed that in terms of the Occupational
Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHSA) municipalities, as employers in the local
government sector, are required to provide and maintain, as far as reasonably
practicable, a working environment that is both safe and risk-free to the
health of its employees. Municipalities must provide Personal
Protective Equipment (PPE) to those frontline essential service employees,
which at minimum, are the following:
Temperature tests for those employees who face
direct exposure to individuals possibly affected by the virus; and
Other related equipment.
The OHSA also imposes a
duty on employers to:
Take steps to eliminate or mitigate any hazard
or potential hazard, before resorting to personal protective equipment;
Provide information, instructions, training
and supervision that may be necessary to ensure the health and safety of
employees at work; and
such measures, as may be necessary, in the interests of health and safety.
Employees also have a
duty to take
care of their own healthand obey the health and safety rules of the employer. If an employee becomes
aware of a situation that is unsafe or unhealthy, he or she must report such a
situation to his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
The parties have agreed that those municipalities
who are not complying with these OHSA obligations must be
identified and every effort must be made to report them to the appropriate
authorities for non – compliance. This is to ensure that applicable and timeous
remedies are put in place to ensure compliance, which may include holding such municipalities
accountable for the consequences, as provided for in law. In the same vein, where
non – compliant municipalities require support to ensure compliance with their
legal obligations, the parties have undertaken to do their utmost to provide
assistance to affected municipalities.
Members must ensure that non-compliance with such
health and safety requirements is reported to senior management, line
management, your local shop steward and the Regional Office. If management does
not take pro-active steps to rectify the matter, then the matter should be
reported to the Department of Health and the Department of Labour.
The parties, at the meeting of 8 April 2020, also
acknowledged the danger faced by frontline employees fighting the disease. It
was agreed that the following advice be given to structures at municipal level:
The Main Collective Agreement does not cater for a danger allowance;
If a municipality has a policy that regulates a danger allowance, then the issue must be managed in terms of the relevant municipal policy;
If there is no such policy at a particular municipality, then the senior management of the municipality and the local leadership of IMATU and SAMWU must discuss the matter. The parties must attempt to come to an amicable solution and attempt to identify the employees within the essential service designation who are indeed exposed to dangers or hazards. Parties must also try and identify the procedure to be applied to compensate such employees through the payment of a danger allowance; and
The municipality must keep a proper record or register of all employees that were on the frontline of danger or faced direct exposure to the disease.
The parties also agreed, in principle, to consider
and negotiate a compensatory framework and matters incidental thereto, once the
lockdown is over. This process will happen at a national level and will be
guided by inter alia the following criteria:
Recognise those employees who were exposed directly to danger when working during the lockdown period. As an example, a nurse administering a swab during testing faces greater exposure to danger than an employee working remotely from home. The nurse is a category of employee who ought to receive some form of compensation;
Employees not exposed to danger of the disease and who stayed at home during the lockdown should not be eligible for any additional compensation; and
The form compensation.
Due to the lockdown it is not possible to finalise
our IMATU mandate (the other parties to the SALGBC also need to obtain
mandates). This will be done as soon as the lockdown is over.
We have also been advised that a number of
municipalities have compelled employees to take compulsory annual leave during
the lockdown period. We regard this as grossly unfair and this is totally
unacceptable. We will also table this issue at the national bargaining council
once the lockdown is over.
We ask members to stay safe; keep your families
safe; adhere to the lockdown regulations; continue to frequently wash your
hands and use sanitizers. Please do not put your health or that of your family
Finally, those members of the Christian faith, we
wish you a happy and joyful Easter.
been written in the press over the past 2 months since the COVID – 19 virus was
discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. As you are probably also aware,
President Ramaphosa announced last night that the State is taking drastic
measures in order to combat the spread of the virus in our country.
note that the writer hereof is not a medical expert, however, some facts are
common cause in terms of information from the WHO. This document serves to put
in place the reasonably practical measures that should be taken by a
responsible employer. As an organisation, and as individuals, we need to take
pro-active steps in trying to stop the spread of the virus.
foremost, you must not panic. A lot of panic has been created by way fake news
on social media and other platforms. There is also a lot of mischief-making
going around. For, example, the Department of Health in Gauteng indicated on
Friday, 13 March 2020 that one of its circulars has been manipulated to cause
panic and confusion. The Department issued a three – page circular, which was
then manipulated into a two – pager, and this caused a lot of misinformation
regarding the closure of schools. Another document was doing the rounds
yesterday (Sunday 15 March 2020) that caused confusion in respect of the
closure of schools. That circular, in fact, was issued by the government in
Namibia and had nothing to do with the situation in South Africa. Even News24
reported last week that fake news stories are doing the rounds where their logo
is being used and this created the impression that these were News24 articles,
which they were not. Therefore, don’t listen to rumours. Make sure that you
only consult reputable sources, such as the World Health Organisation’s
is similar to any other flu – like virus. Symptoms can vary from mild flu –
like to pneumonia – like symptoms. Information from the WHO, and two of the
medical schemes locally, indicate that there is a category of persons at high
risk. The people at risk are those with low immune systems. For example, the
elderly (people older than 70), people who suffer from TB or are HIV positive,
people with lung problems, and diabetics come to mind. For the majority of
people that contract the virus, they will have mild flu-like symptoms. The
recovery rate at the epicentre in China is already at 97%. It must also be
noted that the countries where the virus is at its worst (China, Northern Italy
and Iran, were (are) in the middle of winter and temperatures there are much lower
than in South Africa currently. Our warmer climate, for the time being, will
hopefully assist in fighting the spread of the virus.
We are a
service delivery driven organisation and we must continue to be available for
our members. It is therefore not practical to close our doors and work from
home. Having said that, however, we must take pro-active steps to stop the
spread of the virus.
of staff who wants to self-isolate (or quarantine) will be required to take
annual leave or unpaid leave. If you fall ill, as in the case of any other
illness, you will be required to submit a doctor’s note to the employer.
follow practical arrangements that Regions should implement with immediate
Avoid physical contact at all costs. This means not touching, greeting by
handshake or hugging another person. Try to communicate over the internal phone
systems of the organisation, where possible;
Although it is unsociable, try to avoid as much physical contact with persons
in the office and in your home life;
Try to keep a distance of around 2 metres from another person when talking to
him/her. For example, if you are consulting with a member, make sure that
he/she sits across the table from you;
Disinfect all the time. Wash your hands as much as possible. Use a disinfectant
If you have to consult with a member, then don’t use your office or an office
with confined spaces. Use a boardroom or any other suitable larger office;
Make sure you frequently clean tools of the trade. This includes your cellular
phone, tablets, your laptop screen and/or your telephone handsets. Conference
tables and toilets must also be frequently disinfected;
Where practical, all office doors must be left open (this excludes the front
door and bathroom doors!). This will prevent you from having to touch a door
when opening or closing the door;
Please use throw – away (disposable) paper towels to dry your hands after
washing them. In addition, also use throw – away towels to open, close, lock
and unlock toilet doors and bathroom doors;
All non – essential meetings should be postponed until at least 17 April 2020.
If issues can be resolved by way of electronic channels, then you must proceed
to do so. Please discuss with your Regional Chairperson what practical
arrangements can be taken to give effect to this – for example, reports can be
sent out on email with recommendations and members of your committees can be
given time to respond thereto;
Where members are being represented, the person representing the member, be it
in arbitrations, disciplinary enquiries and grievances, etc., must take a
common sense approach. If cases can be postponed, this must be done forthwith
(until at least 17 April 2020). Where a postponement of a matter is not
possible, you must ensure that the venue is not constricted in terms of size
(remember the other parties in an enquiry are equally concerned about their
health and wellbeing);
Where members apply for loans, they must be requested to use their own pens,
and if they don’t have a pen, we must give the member a pen to fill in the
documentation. Thereafter the pen must either be given to the member or it must
be thrown away. This will also apply to other operation issues such as
membership application forms, etc.;
Regional Managers are authorised to implement measures to ensure that staff
using public transport are transported as safely as is reasonably possible.
This may include a car pool arrangement or other methods (i.e. a member of
staff with a car be requested to pick up and drop off staff, where possible).
These arrangements will apply until 17 April 2020. If there are costs to be
incurred to safeguard our employees traveling by means of public transport,
then these costs must be incurred, but within reasonable parameters. If you are
unsure about this issue, then please contact the General Secretary for
Regional Managers must establish whether there is sufficient capacity amongst
the cleaning staff to continuously clean and disinfect workspaces and toilets.
If you need additional assistance – especially in our larger offices, you are
hereby authorised, in consultation with the DGS: Operations, to appoint a
contract worker for one (1) month, with any further extension reviewable at the
end of the month contract;
Boost your immune system as much as you can. Make sure that you speak to your
doctor or pharmacist to take the correct amount and kind of vitamins;
Be vigilant in your personal life. If possible, avoid crowds and confined
spaces for the time-being. This includes shopping malls, small gyms, movie
theatres, pubs, etc. Follow the advice of the WHO and other doctors with
regards to coughing, sneezing and washing your hands;
If you start having flu – like systems, then consult a doctor immediately;
Do not fall prey to opportunistic criminality (at present it is being reported
that criminals are posing as Netcare officials purporting to be conducting
door-to-door testing, and thereby gaining access to your home and belongings);
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases also has a reputable website (www.ncid.ac.za) with plenty of information.
Please use this resource as a means of educating yourselves and your
Managers must frequently communicate with staff so that staff are kept abreast
of developments. We will monitor the situation on a day – to – day basis. If
more drastic steps are required, we will implement those as and when required.
Managers must also ensure that municipalities take pro-active steps to ensure
that our members are not placed at risk. Please advise branch committees to
immediately discuss such measures with municipal employers.
Please don’t panic and apply common sense.
If you have any questions in this regard, please contact the writer hereof, the DGS: Operations, or the HR Manager.
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/covid19-1.jpg618919Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-03-16 08:23:002020-03-18 09:36:27GS CIRCULAR NO 6 OF 2020: COVID - 19 VIRUS (THE CORONA VIRUS)
The Labour Court has handed down judgement on Tuesday, 03 March 2020.
The Judge Found the following:
1. The Samwu actions to not work the shifts as per the Collective Agreement constituted an unprotected strike. The Court interdicted Samwu members from participating in such refusal.
2. The Fire and Rescue Services Collective Agreement is valid and binding, until a new agreement is concluded.
3. The Counter claim of Samwu seeking to declare all 24 hours of shifts as working hours is dismissed with cost by the court.
IMATU always advised that refusal to work the shifts would constitute an unprotected strike. IMATU further advised that the remedy to address the unhappiness with the shift allowances was Interest Arbitration. The Court now confirmed that position.
IMATU will now file a new demand for negotiation in consultation with our members. The demand will cater for all the Fire Service members IMATU will thereafter refer the issue to Interest Arbitration. In such proceedings the Arbitrator will rule on a fair outcome in terms of all the listed issues, including the allowances percentage.
We will keep members updated as the process evolves.
E. BRUWER REGIONAL MANAGER IMATU WESTERN CAPE/ CAPE METRO
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/firefighter-1.jpg253450Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-03-04 11:53:392020-03-04 12:24:50FIRE SERVICES: DEADLOCK ON ALLOWANCES AND OVERTIME LABOUR COURT JUDGEMENT
The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU),
representing approximately 107 000 members countrywide, and in excess of 14 000
members in the City of Cape Town, wholeheartedly supports the view of the
Auditor General, as quoted in an article by the Cape Argus on 4 February 2020,
wherein it was stated that “The
AG also flagged the appointment of law firms representing the City. The
report said the approval to procure legal services was granted to the legal
department by means of a council system of delegations that was not in line
with the regulations“.
Notwithstanding a formal collective agreement relating to internal disciplinary
matters which excludes the appointment of external legal representation, except
in very limited and specific cases, the City persists in appointing external
legal practitioners to prosecute its staff, and to preside over these
hearings. IMATU has been successful in an arbitration wherein it was
ruled that the employer (the City) was not permitted to utilise the services of
external legal practitioners. Albeit that the City has taken this award
on review, it persists in spending ratepayers’ money on the appointment of
external legal practitioners across the board. These hearings are
extended over long periods which result in huge legal bills for the City.
This takes place despite the fact that the City has its own Legal Department
which comprises many qualified and expert legal employees, and similarly, the
City has specialised labour relations and human resources departments with a
more than adequate staff complement. These very employees, however, are
simply not utilised for internal disciplinary matters despite being fully equipped
to do so.
“These actions by the City result in wasted costs, to the detriment of the
ratepayer, and need to be ceased with immediate effect”, stated Etienne
Bruwer, IMATU’s Regional Manager in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/money.jpg183276Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-02-10 08:33:482020-02-18 08:35:09IMATU CONDEMNS WASTED COSTS IN THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN
Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) has noted with concern,
the contents of an article published in The Star newspaper on 22 January 2020
entitled “End of fee deductions challenged”.
the article it is claimed that several unions, including IMATU, have been
granted certain organisational rights in respect of the deduction of membership
subscriptions for civil servants. According to Prof Richard Levin, “The
National Treasury has also been requested to terminate the stop order
facilities that have been unduly extended to the above-mentioned unions”.
Prof Levin is the Director-General in the Public Service and Administration
refutes this statement categorically. According to its President, Mr
Keith Swanepoel: “IMATU is one of the only 2 recognised trade unions in the
local government sector, and operates under the auspices of the SALGBC (South
African Local Government Bargaining Council). We do not, and have never,
seek organisational rights in respect of the public sector (provincial and
called on the Director-General to withdraw the remarks made concerning IMATU
which reportedly contained in correspondence by the Director-General dated 20
Star newspaper is also urged to properly check the facts of each matter it
chooses to report on, prior to the publication of information which is not
factually correct in all instances, said Swanepoel: “IMATU is always available
and willing to provide the media with correct facts and information, prior to
such articles being published”, concluded Swanepoel.
https://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.png00Jenny Pohlhttps://imatu.co.za/wp-content/uploads/imatu-logo-slogan.pngJenny Pohl2020-01-23 08:30:352020-02-18 08:33:37IMATU CORRECTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICES AND STAR NEWSPAPER ON ERRONEOUS AND POOR REPORTING
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