The Tshwane Metro Council takes note of the compliance order issued by the Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) on Thursday. In this, the metro is informed of its non-compliance with certain clauses of the council’s collective agreement regarding disciplinary procedures for the failure to introduce the last increase in terms of a three-year salary and wage increase agreement for workers.
Hundreds of members of the municipal workers union Samwu in the capital have been on strike since Monday over the wage and salary increase of 0% that the city council approved in June.
According to Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the municipality, the unions Imatu and Samwu were informed in a recent meeting with the city manager, Johann Mettler, and at a subsequent local labor forum meeting that the city simply cannot afford the salary and wage increases.
“The city has made it clear that it cannot afford the increases and confirms that it is working on an application to SALGBC to be waived of the increases. The exemption application will be submitted by August 10,” says Bokaba.
Cilliers Brink, mayor of Tshwane, as well as Mettler met union representatives on Friday and addressed workers on the steps of Tshwane House about the city’s financial position regarding salary increases.
Mettler warned the employees not to intimidate those who do work. He also said he was confident and hoped that all issues could be ironed out.
Brink expressed his appreciation to the workers and provided reasons as to why the city is not now in a position to pay increases.
Due to the strikes, several municipal customer service centers are currently closed, affecting residents who want to pay their municipal bills.
Residents are reminded of the following alternative payment options that can be used during this period:
• e-Tshwane platform
• Post office
• Electronic funds transfer
• Pick n Pay
According to Peter Sutton, mayoral committee member for finance, despite the protest action, the city will continue to implement its credit control policy and collect outstanding debts.
“Striking employees are once again urged to return to work and stop interfering with management aspects affecting revenue and cash collection,” says Sutton.
Strikers this week attempted to close our offices, disrupt service delivery for electricity and water outages and damage city property. All these aspects affect the revenue and cash collection capacity of the city. Although these individuals think they will force a particular outcome, in reality they may be making our financial situation worse.”
Today, myself and the City Manager Johann Mettler addressed workers outside Tshwane House. We value city employees, however the City is in a precarious financial position and difficult decisions must be made to rescue the capital city from financial ruin. @CityTshwane #Samwu pic.twitter.com/jpJtH2hDYW
— Mayor Cilliers Brink (@tshwane_mayor) July 28, 2023
“We need to improve the finances of the city. If we make sufficient progress in raising money and the workforce helps us in the fight against corruption, we will reconsider the metro’s position on paying salary and wage increases.
“It is not a closed door. Let’s work hard and stabilize our finances first”, said the mayor.
RNews earlier reported that the metro had given its striking workers until Friday at 10:30 a.m. to suspend their illegal strike and return to work – or further action would be taken against them.