The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) emerge pleased from the last day of the third round of wage negotiations today in Johannesburg.

“IMATU Negotiators were initially very apprehensive going into these negotiations, however at this stage in the process the employer and unions appear to be moving much closer to an amicable settlement,” explained IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

The facilitator has crafted a facilitator’s proposal in terms of which the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is to increase its initial wage offer to 6.5% on condition that IMATU agrees to a three year Three Year Agreement and revisits the employer contributions to medical aid.

The facilitator’s proposal is not binding and can be accepted or rejected by any party but it does provide a constructive platform for agreement.

Negotiators will take back the facilitator’s proposal to their members for consultation after which they will hopefully return with a revised mandate and the possibility of a final agreement.

In addition, SALGA is to suspend its initial notice to terminate the Main Collective Agreement and Disciplinary Code until 30 September 2012, in the belief that the employer and IMATU can reach a settlement in the interim.

 “We are pleased that the facilitator’s has pitched his wage proposal close to an inflationary related increase. IMATU members, like the majority of South Africans, are really feeling the pinch of unprecedented increases in the costs of electricity, fuel, food and public transport. This is definitely a positive development that we can take back to our members,” explained Johan Koen. 

The fourth round of negotiations is scheduled for 04 and 05 July 2012.