The South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU) has signed a salary and wage collective agreement with the county's waterboards in the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC). Parties in the ABC includes unions and the South African Association of Water Utilities which represents Rand Water, Sedibeng Water, Lepelle Northern Water, Magallies Water, Amatola Water, Umhlathuze Water, Umgeni Water, Midvaal Water and Bloem Water who collectively are responsible for over 95% of bulk water supply to the country's municipalities.
As per the agreement, workers in these waterboards will receive a 6,5% salary increase backdated to 1 July 2020. Parties have also agreed that workers will receive 10% increase on their housing allowance, this with the intention of ensuring that within 3 years, the minimum housing allowance in the sector will be R2800.
Workers in the sector will from this financial year receive a minimum of 21 annual leave days which will increase to 25 by the 2021/22 financial year. Other issues such as outsourcing, night allowance, post-retirement medical aid and danger allowance have been referred to a task team which has been given until 30 November 2020 to finalize its work.
These were difficult negotiations which nearly collapsed as a result of outside influence, in particular, the National Treasury which wanted to collapse collective bargaining and deny workers salary increases. We thank our members for their patience in allowing us to conclude this agreement in their favour.