Union celebrates victory after City caves in and agrees to implement 2021 municipal workers’ wage increase
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Cape Town - The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is celebrating the news that the City has finally agreed to implement the nationally negotiated 2021 wage increase.
Calling the City’s about-turn on the issue of increasing salaries and wages of municipal workers by 3.5% a victory, Samwu regional secretary Mike Khumalo said: “We are thankful and think that maybe it is down to the change in leadership at the City. It is definitely a step in the right direction and will improve the working relationship between us and the City.”
The City had earlier this year argued that salary increases were neither justifiable nor affordable in the current economic climate.
On Wednesday, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis wrote to Samwu and said: “The City is of the view that the exemption outcome failed to properly analyse the City’s submissions. This led to the refusal to grant the exemption application.
“The impact of this decision means that the City will now have to adjust its budget and cut costs to the tune of R477.5 million.”
He wrote that an adjustment could include a large cut in the number of vacancies, a budget base reduction in the EPWP programmes across all directorates, and cuts in overtime.
He said while the City was entitled to launch a review application, the process would take too long to be finalised and would negatively impact its administration and thus it had decided to agree to implement the agreement.
The agreement, which also includes later cash payments of R4 000 for workers earning R12 500 or less per month and R3 000 for employees earning R12 501 or more, will be valid until 2023.