Progress made in municipal wage negotiations

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Major strides are being made in the ongoing municipal wage negotiations, according to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

“Municipal negotiators have made meaningful progress towards reaching a collective agreement for the 2021 Salary and Wage negotiations at the SA Local Government Bargaining Council, paving the way for the formulation of a framework for a proposed agreement between the Parties,” said the association in a statement.

In the bargaining council, municipal laborers are being represented by two unions, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU). SALGA’s role is also recognized as the employer body representing the country’s 257 municipalities.

“This week the Parties have agreed to extend the negotiations beyond the final round to allow the designated Facilitator of the negotiations to formulate a detailed proposal to cover all the areas that are a subject matter of negotiations.

Proposals developed by negotiations facilitators are very often effective instruments for facilitating an agreement when Parties have mandated positions that are difficult to reconcile, as this has been the case with current negotiations, as with similar negotiations processes across the public sector,” said SALGA.

Resolutions regarding the proposal

The objectives of the Facilitator’s Proposal are as follows:

•              To create a conducive environment for facilitating an agreement on the terms specified  is such a Facilitator’s Proposal

•              To identify and register  areas of emerging consensus

•              To highlight  areas where  Parties have to seek further directives from their constituencies

•              To bring the parties to an orderly conclusion of the negotiations and avert a deadlock

“SALGA remains cautiously optimistic that the outcomes of the latest round of negotiations may result in an agreement that is in the best interest of municipal sustainability and labor peace.”

According to the association, introducing a Facilitator’s Proposal will afford municipalities yet another opportunity to consider the viability of the proposal made.

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