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"Employee morale is a necessary consideration during wage negotiations" says Samwu

by , 04 March 2015
On Tuesday, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) announced that it was encouraged and optimistic after it started wage negotiations in the municipal sector.

This because the parties have finally agreed to give up the positional bargaining and consider the "interest of the country, financial statements, macroeconomic policies, as well as the interests of trade union members," as spokesman from the Salga bargaining unit Tahir Sema explained to the press.

In addition, the first round of wage negotiations for 230,000 municipal workers in 278 municipalities got under way on Monday, with Salga countering a 15% wage demand from two municipal unions with an offer of a three-year deal of 4.4%, followed by two years of consumer price index inflation plus 0.25%.

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Yet unions are demanding a 15% increase, or a R4,000 increase, whichever is higher, a minimum wage of R9,625 and a single year agreement. This, as  The South African Municipal Workers (Samwu) spokesman Papikie Mohale explains is because Monday's wage offer could be seen as an "intention to ensure that municipal workers are trapped in the cycle of poverty".

Moreover, Samwu's members had delivered a clear mandate for a single-year agreement to negotiators and has states that productivity  mustbe addressed, the most important factor in this wage negotiation is employee morale. To achieve that, Salga must be required to propose an acceptable wage settlement, he said.

Both unions agree on the fact that several aspects should be taken into consideration when it comes about the salary increases. Employee morale is one of them, together with the fact that this requests is being made after a period of wage restraint.

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