The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) concluded three days of negotiations in Pretoria today. Parties to the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) were negotiating issues pertaining to the local government sector’s Main Collective Agreement and Disciplinary Code.

During these negotiations, matters such as organisational rights, grievance procedure, disciplinary code and conditions of service were discussed under the auspices of a facilitator.

“While progress has been made in other areas negotiations broke down today after parties failed to agree on an increase in the housing subsidy. IMATU has been working towards bring the local government housing allowance in line with that of other sectors such as the public service (national and provincial government).  Except for a moderate increase in 2009, the current housing allowance has remained virtually stagnant for the last 20 years,” explained IMATU Deputy General Secretary, Craig Adams.

IMATU proposed a process involving a gradual increase, to the housing subsidy over time, which would allow municipalities to adequately budget for future increases. “We understand that problems such as these cannot be fixed immediately. We suggested a gradual increase and believe that our proposal was sufficiently reasonable, however the South African Local Government Association refused to meet us half way,” concluded Adams.

At the conclusion of today’s talks the facilitator indicated that negotiations are closed and no further dates have scheduled. IMATU’s negotiators will revert to our internal structures to decide on the way forward.