The Ndlambe council met on Tuesday afternoon via digital conferencing on Microsoft Teams.
South Africa Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Workers Union (c) established a collective bargaining agreement with government in 2018 to guarantee a certain percentage wage rise which will expire in 2021. The agreement meant that municipal workers would receive a 6.25% wage and salary increase on July 1 this year.
National Treasury then announced that R20-billion municipalities from the R500-billion Covid-19 relief fund that was allocated by government is to be used for infrastructural and social projects, not for wage and salary increases. The issue was then taken up by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) who proposed that workers receive a 3.25% increase on July 1, payment deferred until January 1, and then a further rise of 3% on January 1 next year.
However, the unions rejected the proposal and demanded that the collective agreement be implemented immediately. According to the explanation provided in the agenda the unions are intransigent and demand the agreement by honoured.
Although the DA councillors voted to implement the Salga proposal the 15 ANC councillors present and the single EFF councillor voted to implement the collective agreement in support of the unions.