The SA Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) has rejected another application for the local government to be exempted from wages, this time from the Uthukela borough in KwaZulu-Natal.
In a result adopted on Wednesday, the The negotiating council rejected the municipality’s motion on the grounds that it was frivolous.
The negotiating council also dismissed the municipality, the costs of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allies Union (Imatu) who opposed the request.
The council’s decision follows Monday’s rejection of a request from the City of Cape Town to be exempt from implementing the local government’s recent September collective wage agreement 15 .
Like the City of Cape Town, the district municipality wanted an exemption from the clauses, employees wanted a salary increase of 3.5% from July 1st and one-off payments of R4.0 00 for employees earning R12,500 or l ess and R3,000 for employees earning R12,501 or more.
Imatu objected to the request, Imatu said that Uthukela had a funded budget for the Fiscal year 2021/22 and forecast an operating surplus of R10. 1m. Imatu also stated that the community has a budget for a 5.6% pay increase.
The council said from previously submitted documents that the 3.5% increase negotiated for the 2021/22 financial year is affordable. This undermines the claim that the increase is unaffordable.
Samwu welcomed the decision.
“Significantly, the senior panelist [at the Negotiating Council] decided that The municipality’s request was frivolous and issued a cost order against the municipality and further instructed the municipality to pay the workers their wage increases retrospectively to July 2021 in accordance with the signed collective agreement, “said Samwu General Secretary Dumisane Magagula.
He said the union hoped the cost ordinance would discourage other municipalities from making frivolous motions to the negotiating council.
“We believe this was useless and wasteful expenditure by the municipality and this money should urgently be recovered ctly from the chief accountant of the community who made this frivolous request. ”
He said frivolous requests affect work More troublingly, Magagula said workers’ money was being used by the unions to defend these motions, while the communities used public funds on their crusade to help the Reverse workers’ profits.
Magagula said the union had reached out to the collective bargaining committee to get compliance orders against municipalities that failed to implement the collective wage agreement without requesting an exemption .