South Africa: Security Guard Wage Negotiations Deadlocked

Private security guards.

Unions reject offer of 5% increase

The security sector unions have rejected the 5% wage increase offered by employers during the latest rounds of talk that occurred from Wednesday to Thursday.

The offer would mean a wage increase of R218.85 for a Grade C officer (the lowest rank), taking the monthly wage from R4,377 to R4,595.85. Zanele Sabela, South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) media officer, said the increase would also apply to categories B and A, whose wages would go up to R5,199.85 and R5,776.85 per month respectively.

The unions are demanding a minimum of R7,500 for Grade C officers, R8,000 for Grade B and R8,500 per month for Grade A officers.

The largest number of security officers are in grade C, according to Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union (DETAWU) General Secretary, Vusi Ntshangase.

Inflation is currently running at 4.3% year-on-year.

Ntshangase said about 150,000 security workers had been mobilised.

The nine unions include the Abanqobi Workers Union, the Democratic Union of Security Workers, the Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union, the Kungwini Amalgamated Workers Union, the National Security & Unqualified Workers' Union, the Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa, the South African Amalgamated and Intergrated Workers Union, the South African National Security and Allied Workers' Forum, and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union.

The unions are also demanding hospital cover to which they want employers to contribute 60%. GroundUp spoke to two security officers, one of whom earns R5,054.40 a month working a 12 hour shift five days a week, and the other R3,360.00 a month working an eight hour shift five days a week.

Chris Laubscher, who is the employers' representative at the wage negotiations, said the annual allowances, contributions to provident fund, overtime and Sunday pay had to be added to the basic figures. As for hospital cover, he said setting this up was a complex process that was likely to take years as the parties would have to determine the beneficiaries and what ailments it will treat.

Laubscher said that the employers were prepared to have one more round of negotiation on 16 October. "We have a mandate from our members. It is more than the 5% we have placed on the table. We are on record to say that we have room to manoeuvre but it depends on whether they (unions) can get to realistic numbers."

However the unions have already referred the dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

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