|The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) filed dispute papers on Friday, 02 July 2021, in terms of Section 74 of the Labour Relations Act, following a stalemate during the last round of municipal salary and wage negotiations in the Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
The last round of Salary and Wage negotiations that was scheduled for 01 – 02 July 2021, ended abruptly on day one when one of the parties at the negotiating table the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) surprisingly pronounced that it had no interest to continue with the negotiations and intends to declare a dispute and request for a strike certificate.
SALGA noted the SAMWU latest position with a great deal of disappointment as it genuinely believed that there was a potential that the negotiations could reach an agreement. The declaration of the deadlock by SAMWU follows various rounds of negotiations between the parties which culminated in the issuing of a Facilitator’s proposal.
The Facilitator’s proposal in the main called for a 4% across the board salary increase, linked to a multi-year agreement. None of the parties accepted the Facilitator’s proposal.
SALGA opted for Section 74 referral in terms of the Labour Relations Act due to the fact that all municipalities perform the designated essential services. Employees in the designated essential services are prohibited from participating in strike action in terms of the Labour Relations Act. In these circumstances, the dispute can only be resolved through interest arbitration as opposed to strike action.
SALGA wishes to assure the public that this course of action will maintain labour peace and stability and ensure that service delivery is not interrupted.
SALGA is striving for the financial sustainability of municipalities at a time when municipalities and citizens are under severe financial distress imposed by the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.