Unions for municipal workers demand double digit increase

The parties failed to find middle ground in two rounds of negotiations and hope a solution will be found.

FILE:  Samwu protesters have regrouped outside the civic centre in Cape Town after police launched stun grenades at them. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Municipal workers' unions will meet with the South African Local Government Association (Salga) this week to seek a solution to their wage dispute.

The parties have failed to find middle ground in two rounds of negotiations and are hoping a third attempt this week will be successful.

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) want an 11 percent wage increase while Salga's offering a 5.4 percent hike.

Although Salga has said municipalities cannot afford to go higher than the 5.4 percent pay increase offer, Samwu is not budging on its double digit demand.

In addition, unions want a minimum wage no less than R7,600 and a housing allowance of R1,500 across the board.

Samwu's National Executive Committee, which met on Friday, is adamant local government can afford what they are asking for but says National Treasury is interfering in the negotiations.

Salga's Tahir Sema said the association wants the talks finalised as soon as possible to avoid any disruptions to service delivery.