Disgruntled “former members” of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) on Monday disrupted a Cosatu central executive committee meeting. Picture: ROBERT BOTHA

Following protracted wage negotiations‚ the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) have finally agreed to a 7% salary increase for municipal workers.

"We fought hard to ensure that in the difficult economic and political climate we were negotiating in‚ our members could get the best possible deal‚" said Samwu general secretary Simon Mathe in a statement.

He said the ongoing negotiations have caused uncertainty and frustration for the workers. "These negotiations had been protracted to a point where municipal workers had become frustrated‚ as the previous agreement had lapsed and they did not know what increment they would be getting." Mathe expressed excitement over the increase‚ describing it as the best deal the workers could possibly achieve.

The two parties signed a three-year agreement that also provides for an additional 0.5% salary increment for employees earning below R9‚000; a 7% homeowner’s allowance; a non-pensionable allowance of R350 for employees earning less than R9‚000; and a maximum employer contribution towards medical aid that will increase by the same salary increment.

"As these negotiations have been concluded‚ we will be going back to the drawing board to restrategise on how we will be approaching the next negotiations. We will first convene a bargaining conference‚ which will characterise the posture that shall be taken as we negotiate again‚" added Mathe.

He commended the workers for their patience and faith during the negotiations and for not taking to the streets to express their grievances.

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