Salary Negotiations 2015
Labour tabled their consolidated salary demands for the 2015/16 financial year on 30 September 2014 which included a demand for a salary increase of 15%. The Employer responded on 27 November 2014 with an offer of a 3 year multi-term agreement of 5% for each of the 3 years.
The offer was rejected by Labour, following which the employer tabled a revised offer of projected CPI for each of the 3 years. The latest National Treasury projections for the 3 years are 5,8%, 5,5% and 5,3% respectively.
The Employer’s offer further includes –
• an improvement by 17,6% to the medical subsidy for in-service employees belonging to GEMS as well as an improvement for former employees belonging to both GEMS and open schemes, but limited to a Principal member +1.
• an increase of 2 days in family responsibility leave for employees with children with severe special needs
• allowing employees to exercise a once-off choice as to the month in which they wish to have their 13th cheque paid to them
The Employer’s new salary offer has been rejected by Labour because it will not lead to the improvement in the buying power of employees, whilst it is felt that a number of the other demands have not been properly responded to. The negotiations continue.
Government Employees Housing Scheme
The Employer initially offered an increase in the Housing Allowance from R 900 to R 970 p.m. with a top-up of R 330 p. m. for salary levels 1-2 and R 130 p. m. for salary levels 3-4. The top-up will not be paid to employees directly, but will be put into an individual savings account for a maximum of 10 years, to be utilised for purposes of home ownership.
Labour rejected the offer and tabled an amended demand for a Housing Allowance of R 1 500 p.m. across the board – i.e. without a savings portion.
In response the employer is offering (on a no prejudice basis) 2 options, namely –
• A basic Housing Allowance of R 1000 p. m. plus an increase in the top-up amounts for levels 1-2 and 3-4 to R 400 and R 200 respectively. OR
• A Housing Allowance of R 1 500 p.m. to those employees who own houses and are still paying them off and R 900 p.m. to qualifying employees who rent - only until 1 April 2017. The latter employees (after 1 April 2017) as well as all new employees (after Resolution comes into operation) will only be able to access the allowance of R 1 500 p.m. if they own a house and is paying it off.
A formal offer from the employer is awaited.