The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) and Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliates, which collectively represent around 58 percent of the public service employees, asked Salga to return to the negotiation table with a revised offer.
Salga have offered a 4.4 percent increase for the first year and an inflation-related increase plus 0.25 percent for years two and three.
Salga made this offer mindful of the impact that additional annual notch increases had on the salary budgets of municipalities.
“We will attempt to address this matter during the current negotiations,” spokesman Tahir Sema said in a statement.
Imatu general secretary Johan Koen said in a statement that the union could not accept an opening wage offer of less than inflation.
“Our members, like the majority of South Africans, are really feeling the pinch of unprecedented increases in the costs of electricity, fuel, food and public transport.
“…Salga will have to adopt a more realistic understanding of escalating living costs before these negotiations can meaningfully move forward.”
Imatu’s demands include an across-the-board salary increase of 15 percent or R4000, whichever is the greater, in a single-year agreement.
It also wants the housing allowance to be increased to R1800 per month and extended to all employees, irrespective of whether they own or rent property.
The Cosatu-allied unions are the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union; National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union, Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union; Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA; SA Medical Association; SA State and Allied Workers Union and Public and Allied Workers Union of SA.
In a joint statement Cosatu’s public service unions said they were concerned about the slow pace of the negotiations.
“The current agreement expires on the 31st of March this year; therefore, the new agreement must be implemented by th 1st of April this year,” spokesman Nkosana Dolopi said.
Dolopi called on the employer to return with a revised offer.