SAMWU Calls SALGA’s R233 Salary Increase An ‘Insult’ To Municipal Workers

Municipal workers during a protest by SAMWU. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

HE SA Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has described a salary increase of R233 by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as “laughable” and an “insult” to municipal workers.

This follows a meeting this week in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) wherein trade unions and the employer representative, SALGA, met to discuss salaries and wages for workers under the auspices of the SALGBC.

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The meeting followed the first meeting held by parties in February this year where unions formally presented their mandated demands in the bargaining council.

“The offer by SALGA comes as spit in the faces of municipal workers who have carried this country throughout the pandemic and continued ensuring that the delivery of quality services is not disrupted or interrupted despite workers facing the greater risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace as a result of the incompetence and reluctance of employers to ensure that the health and safety of workers is guaranteed,” said SAMWU in a statement.  

“Of greatest concern to us is that SALGA is hell-bent on punishing municipal workers for the coronavirus pandemic, a pandemic which is not of their own making.”

SAMWU dismissed SALGA’s concerns that South Africa has recorded the highest unemployment rate since the 2008 global recession.

“It is our considered view as SAMWU that the high levels of unemployment is reason enough for municipal workers to receive the demands which they have put forward,” said SAMWU.

“This given the fact that on average, 1 worker in the country supports between 4 and 7 depends. To further illustrate that SALGA is not interested in the welfare of municipal workers, they have encouraged municipalities to increase levies, rates and taxes to above inflation.”

“They forget that these very same workers whom they are denying a living wage and offered a mere R233 are supposed to be paying those levies, rates and taxes which will undoubtably be unaffordable to workers and the working class in general.”

SAMWU added that essentially, SALGA has taken a decision that they want to relegate municipal workers to starvation and hunger while expecting them to be productive.

“In further wanting use municipal workers as scape goats, SALGA has indicated that there are a number of municipalities which are under financial distress,” said SAMWU.  

“As the general custodian of municipalities, SALGA forgets that it is their members who are responsible for the looting and thieving of the much-needed resources. The Auditor General has year after year expressed concern that municipalities continue to irregularly fruitlessly and wastefully money with impunity.”

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