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Unions and Prasa sign agreement for 5% wage increase after lengthy delays

Prasa and unions sign a 5% wage agreement after lengthy negotiations. File picture.
Prasa and unions sign a 5% wage agreement after lengthy negotiations. File picture.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The United National Transport Union (UNTU) and South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) signed a wage agreement with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) for a 5% increase.

The unions reached consensus after lengthy and delayed negotiations on a wage agreement for the 2023/2024 financial year. The increment is effective across the board for all Prasa employees from April 1 this year.

The state-owned entity and the unions agreed the 5% increment would be included in the December salary, without any retrenchments for the period of agreement. 

Satawu said the negotiations took longer than expected and Prasa's group CEO had to intervene as the union and management could not agree on certain demands.

It said the entity has committed to paying outstanding salaries owed to employees for the period April to November. The back payments will be paid in six equal instalments from January to June 2024.

“When the negotiations started early this year, we had tabled several demands including a housing allowance. We also demanded that the employer must pay 70% towards the medical aid. However those demands are not yet met by the employer,” said Satawu spokesperson Amanda Tshemese. 

She said Satawu would continue to engage the employer on outstanding issues as they are starting the 2024/2025 financial year wage negotiations on December 11.

UNTU said it was pleased their members would not have to take to the streets to protest.

“It is crucial to reflect on the unusual circumstances surrounding the commencement of these negotiations. The negotiations were supposed to begin in October 2022 but were delayed by almost a year, among others, as a result of the VSP process that was concluded in October.

“It was essential for UNTU to avoid the use of Chinese bargaining tactics and reach an agreement to enable the team to begin with the 2024/2025 wage negotiations without any further delay,” said UNTU deputy secretary-general Dan Khumalo. 


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