SABC salary negotiations ‘deadlocked’

2012-05-14 14:34

A strike by SABC employees may be on the cards.

This follows the unofficial deadlocking of wage negotiations over the payment of a performance-based 14th cheque, among other issues.

Unions representing SABC employees are demanding a 12% across-the-board salary increase while the public broadcaster is offering 8%.

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and the Communication Workers Union initially demanded 15%.

Bemawu says the 15% figure was unrealistic considering the SABC’s poor financial position.

The union’s president, Hannes du Buisson, said the SABC refused to improve its 8% offer after three days of talks last week.

Du Buisson said the deadlock was not yet official as it had yet to be declared by the workers’ representatives.
 
He also said the SABC had budgeted R40 million for staff functions – money which could be used to improve salaries. “A 1% increase is R9 million,” Du Buisson said.

Bemawu is demanding that the current performance management system be coupled with a reward similar to that enjoyed by the broadcaster’s middle and senior management, who receive a 14th cheque each year.

The current 13th cheque will remain intact and untouched, according to Bemawu.

The unions are also demanding that 2% of the total salary bill (about R32 million of R1.6 billion) be set aside for regrading of workers’ salaries.

Other demands include:
» Increase of housing subsidy to R1 500;
» Family responsibility leave be increased from five to ten days a year, and to include extended family members;
» The leave encashment policy to be restored with immediate effect;
» Cellphone policy to include allowance for operational requirements; and
» A R1 500 increase to the staff car allowance.

The SABC has rejected all the demands except the review of the cellphone policy.

All SABC policies are under review.

No new date for further negotiations has been set, with both unions expected to go back to their members to seek a renewed mandate.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was not immediately available for comment.


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