THE South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said on Friday it had requested a two-week extension for considering a proposed wage settlement in 278 municipalities.
The request was made to allow Samwu time to consult its members and to consider the proposal at a central executive committee meeting scheduled for August 4, Samwu general secretary Walter Theledi said on Friday.
The 30-day facilitation period pointed to a Friday (today) deadline for considering a proposed settlement of up to 7% followed by two years of inflation plus 1%.
Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union have been locked in tense negotiations with the South African Local Government Association (Salga) since May.
The unions had demanded an 11% wage increase in a one-year deal and a R1,100 housing allowance. Salga had offered 5.9%, or inflation plus 1.4%, followed by inflation plus 0.25% in subsequent years.
Salga spokesman Tahir Sema said on Friday while the association would want the negotiations concluded as soon as possible, rushing a conclusion was in no-one’s interest and Salga remained pleased with the progress.
Salga declined to say whether or not it had rejected or accepted the offer.
“We however are ready to respond to the facilitators’ proposals. We welcome the proposal as it is an attempt to breach the huge divide that exists between the unions’ demands and what the employer bodies are offering,” said Mr Sema.