Municipal workers get postponed pay rises

2010-11-24 00:00

MUNICIPAL workers will have reason to celebrate tomorrow with news that the Msunduzi Municipality will finally be able to honour their postponed salary and wage agreements in their entirety.

The Witness reporting how unhappy workers were in July when they were told their salary and wage agreements, which were supposed to have been implemented at the beginning of that month, would be postponed.

Later that month lower-paid workers were given their bonuses — a move that ruffled a few feathers — but October saw all municipal workers getting their bonuses.

Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler said a postponement was initially requested due to the fragile state of the municipality’s finances. The postponement was granted, but an exemption was given only until December.

However, Mettler said they looked at the municipality’s much improved cash-flow position and realised that they could afford to meet the terms of the agreement a bit earlier than expected.

He pointed out that all they were seeking was to delay the agreement, not to change its terms.

The provincial chairperson of the SA Municipal Workers’ Unnion, John Dlamini, said Samwu had opposed the initial postponement of the salary and wage agreements because it was not legally binding.

But he added that Mettler had assured them that the municipality would eventually be able to fulfil the terms of the agreements once the cash-flow situation improved.

He said workers will now get their 13th cheques and a monthly increase of 8,3%, which will be back-dated to July 1.

“They also say that 2,5% of a worker’s non-pensionable allowance must be pensionable … We are adamant that workers get [what has been outlined in the agreement]. If the employer fails to do that then we will have to fight them on it,” said Dlamini.

In the meantime the union would still deliberate on the issue of rental allowances.

“Once we have decided we will take it to the bargaining council,” said Dlamini.


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