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Unions likely to strike a deal with bus companies following negotiations

New modern city bus - Stock image
New modern city bus - Stock image
Image: STOCK

Unions in the transport industry are likely to strike a deal with employers of bus companies following wage negotiations.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) along with four other unions in the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) will take employers’ offer to members for approval‚ Satawu said in a statement.

This follows a meeting with Satawu‚ the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Tawusa)‚ the Transport and Omnibus Workers’ Union (Towu)‚ the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa)‚ the Tirisano Transport Workers’ Union (Taswu) with employer associations‚ the Commuter Bus Employers’ Organisation (Cobeo) and the SA Bus Employers’ Association (Sabea) at the Bargaining Council for the first phase of wage negotiations in the sector.

Unions made the following concessions in an attempt to move negotiations forward:

• A reduced demand for an across-the-board increase from 20% to 16%. • Cut the demand for minimum basic wage from R10‚000 to R8‚000. The minimum basic wage in the sector is currently R6‚076. • Labour undertook to consider payment of annual bonus in the employee’s birth month‚ provided employers agree to pay a pro-rata bonus to workers terminating employment contract regardless of whether they were dismissed or not. Annual bonus is currently paid in early December each year.

Employers proposed that parties sign a three-year wage agreement to be implemented from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2021.

From April 1 2018 to March 2019‚ employers have proposed a 4.7 % wage increase across the board‚ which will go up to 5.2% from April 1 to March 31 2020. The employers have also proposed a 5.7% wage increase from April 1 2020 to March 31 2021.

Employers also proposed the same across-the-board increases for minimum basic wages for the three-year agreement. Responding to labour’s demand of six months maternity leave at full pay‚ employers offered four months maternity at 35% pay for the 2018/2019 year; 37% for the 2019/2020 year and 40% for the 2020/2021 year.

Included in Cobea and Sabea’s offer are nominal increases for subsistence and travel allowances‚ night shift and cross-border allowance.

Satawu said each of the five unions will seek a mandate from their members on whether to accept the offer and report back to the Bargaining Council for the second phase of negotiations starting from February 12 to February 16.

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