Relief as municipal strike ends

THE nine-day municipal workers strike is over after the parties signed an agreement in Pretoria yesterday.

THE nine-day municipal workers strike is over after the parties signed an agreement in Pretoria yesterday.

The South African Local Government Association (Salga), South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) signed an agreement that will lead to stability after municipal services had been plunged into chaos.

Salga spokesperson Milisa Kentane said: "Salga, Samwu and Imatu have resolved the issues under dispute. The job evaluation, wage curve and disciplinary code agreement were signed."

Kentane said the wage curve would ensure that "each and every employee is remunerated at the 50th percentile of the relevant job according to their task level".

Eligible employees would receive nine months back pay," she said.

Samwu had demanded two years back pay. Kentane also said Salga's disciplinary code would no longer accommodate private lawyers.

"Both agreements are to be implemented on July 1 2010 and will run until June 30 2012, giving them a life span of two years," .she said.

Samwu general secretary Mthandeki Nhlapo said some of their members returned to work yesterday, while most would be back today.

"We are not really happy but we can live with the results under the circumstances we found ourselves in," Nhlapo said.

He said in future the union would also look at the influence exerted by the national government in negotiations and the role of the Treasury in municipal budgets.

"This is a victory since workers will get salaries that are market-related," he said.

Nhlapo said Salga needed to improve its negotiation skills to minimise the impact of future strikes.

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