Municipal salaries: ‘Unreasonable, unjustifiable, unsustainable’

2012-06-25 12:33

The SA Local Government Association (Salga) has slammed municipal workers for making “unreasonable, unjustifiable and unsustainable” demands for R8 billion in salary increases.

Salga says the demand places an undue burden on the already cash-strapped municipalities relying mainly on rates income to fund salaries and salary increases.

“A 15% demand increases the current local government wage bill of R53 billion by approximately R8 billion to R61 billion,” wrote Salga chief executive Xolile George in a letter to the country’s 278 mayors and municipal managers.

Salga says a 15% increase would take the minimum wage to R5 313 while R2 000 (the demand is for 15% or R2 000, whichever is the highest) takes it to R6 620.

The current local government minimum wage is R4 620.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union also want the employer contribution towards medical aid to increase by nearly R500, which Salga warns would add another R841 million.

Salga says the unions’ demand will worsen the financial position of municipalities.

The current wage deal and disciplinary procedures agreement expire on Saturday, sparking fears that municipal workers are heading for yet another strike.

Negotiations, facilitated by Yunis Shaik, will resume next week.

A mediator proposed a 6.5% wage increase but Samwu says it was going to be tough to present the mediator’s proposal to workers.

However, the union said it was committed to finding a resolution to the wage deadlock.

» What Salga bosses got

Salga bosses gave themselves an increase of over R3.6 million or 27% in 2009/10.

They earned R16.8 million in 2010 compared with R13.2 million the previous year.

Last year, Salga bosses scored an increase of about R1.5 million or nearly 9% for a total of almost R18.3 million.

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