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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

City prepare for possible SAMWU strike

CITY OF CAPE TOWN
MEDIA RELEASE
08 AUGUST 2011

City preparing for possible SAMWU strike commencing soon

The City of Cape Town has been informed of possible national strike action by members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU), starting on Monday 15 August. The City has already started putting the necessary contingency measures in place to minimise disruption in service delivery in the event that the strike goes ahead.

The strike has been called because of a deadlock in wage negotiations triggered by a conditional clause in the three year wage agreement. According to that clause, wage negotiations can be re-opened as the average CPI rate of 4.08% falls outside of the 5% to 10% range as specified in the three year agreement.

Disputes are centrally bargained nationally between the South African Local Government Association(SALGA) and labour representatives. The City of Cape Town is just one of the municipalities represented by SALGA at the bargaining table and therefore has limited input into negotiations.

This will be a national strike by all SAMWU members. SALGA is offering municipal employees an annual increase of 6,08%, whereas SAMWU demands 18%.

The strike is also about SAMWU’s protest against proposed amendments made to the Municipal Systems Act by National Government. The City will keep residents informed of progress made to resolve the strike at a national level and will soon be communicating its detailed contingency plans to ensure that service delivery continues despite the strike.

Unfortunately some services, such as solid waste, will be affected, but residents can be assured that the City will do all it can to ensure that all residents’ refuse is collected and that its refuse drop-off sites remain open.

Alderman Demetri Qually, Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, said: “We recognise the rights of labour to negotiate under this clause, but we are gravely concerned by SAMWU’s 18% wage demand. If implemented this will have a catastrophic impact on the City’s wage bill and on our ability to deliver municipal services, as funding identified for service delivery would have to be diverted to wages.”

“While the City respects the rights of staff to strike, we will ensure that negative impacts on our core function, namely service delivery, are minimised. We have in the past managed to continue delivering services to our residents despite national strikes and we are confident our contingency plans will allow us to do the same now. We do however need our residents’ support and patience, and we thank them in advance for helping us during the upcoming strike,” Qually said.

End

Issued by: Communication Department, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries:

Alderman Demetri Qually, Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Tel: 021 400 1299 or Cell: 083 629 1326
Kylie Hatton, Manager: Media, Tel: 021 400 4684 or Cell: 082 874 4605

Shireen Maggott
Secretary to Marius Coetsee
Manager: Good Hope Sub Council 16
11th Floor - 44 Wale Street
Cape Town
Tel : (021) 487 2201
Fax: (021) 487 2208
e-mail: Shireen.Maggott@capetown.gov.za

"Sub-councils: Here to serve you well"

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