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26/08/2015: Local Government wage negotiations successfully conclude with no strike action
26 August 2015
The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has successfully concluded the salary and wage negotiations with Trade Unions in the Local Government sector.

Strike action and its destabilising effects have been averted. The agreement is a three year deal which will ensure labour peace, medium term budget certainty and stability in the sector, to the benefit of all residents of our country. 

The salary and wages agreement will cover 270 000 employees in 278 municipalities. The agreement includes, for year one (2015/2016) a 7% increase effective from 01 July 2015, for year two the average CPI (inflation) + 1%, for year three the average CPI + 1%. The minimum wage will increase from R5621.00 to R6014.93 per month while a special purpose medical aid benefit instrument is to be created that targets low income earners and lastly, the home owner allowance in the sector will increase from R545.00 to R700.00 per month. Employees earning below R8000 per month will under specific provisions receive a non-pensionable monthly allowance to address the “Gap Housing” problem being experienced in the sector.

The conclusion of the salary and wage agreement for the sector is a significant milestone. This will pave the way for the sector to address other pressing matters such as retirement fund reforms, the effective procedures for the management of discipline, and providing clear governance and performance standards that have to be followed by parties, municipalities and employees in general to effect and sustain improvements in the quality of public services delivered countrywide. The parties also concluded a stream-lined set of uniform conditions of employment which will greatly assist municipalities in ensuring effective management and delivery of services.

One of the highlights of these negotiations was that we spent a significant amount of time discussing and incorporating a service charter into the agreement. The service charter will ensure that all parties express their commitment to improving service delivery to the benefit of all citizens of South Africa, improve good governance and fight corruption.

Trade Unions in the sector and SALGA were negotiating this time around under difficult conditions. In order to improve the performance of the economy, Government adopted a stringent fiscal policy stance compatible with lower inflation and interest rates. Government’s macro-economic strategy prescribed that wage demands and settlements had to be realistic and responsible. We are glad to announce that we have achieved this.

We thank all parties to the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC), and the Council itself for showing maturity, leadership and doing all that was reasonably possible to ensure we reached an amicable settlement that is in the interest of the sector and its sustainability. As SALGA we continue to remain committed to giving our employees conditions of service and increases that are fair to all parties concerned. SALGA will also start a process of guiding municipalities to implement the agreement.

Issued by: South African Local Government Association

For further comment please contact:
SALGA’s spokesperson on negotiations Tahir Sema on 0768624315 
Via Twitter @TahirSema

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Last Updated on 26 August 2015