The SEIFSA Council at its meeting today unanimously agreed to declare a counter dispute against the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) for refusing to accept the proposed Settlement Agreement tabled at the last negotiating meeting held on 28 July 2021.

The Settlement Offer is based on the four inter-related pillars namely: duration, wage increases, extension and a special phase-in dispensation aimed at encouraging greater support for centralised collective bargaining which is now, more than ever, needed to ensure the survival, recovery, growth and sustainability of the industry in an environment of industrial peace, stability and certainty.       

The offer sees workers receiving a 4,4% increase this year, a CPI plus 0.5% increase in 2022 and CPI plus 1% increase in 2023.

The 4,4% adjustment this year translates to the following impact on the industry’s general wage table:

RateCurrent Minimum Wage Rate 2020Guaranteed Personal IncreaseNew Entry Level Wage  Rates 2021
 R cR cR c

As part of the proposed agreement a special phase-in dispensation will be offered to employers who are currently paying below the current minimum rates and are not members of an employer organisation that is a party to the main agreement.

Employers who are paying at or above 60% of the current minimum rates on the 1 July 2021 will have ten (10) years to phase-in to 100% of the minimum rates and employers who are paying below 60% of the current minimum rates on 1 July 2021 will have 5 (five) years to phase-in to 60% of the minimum rates and thereafter ten (10) years to phase-in to 100% of the minimum rates.

With NUMSA having registered their dispute on Thursday, 29th July and the SEIFSA affiliated Employer Associations’ lodging their dispute today, the Bargaining Council in accordance with its Constitution, has scheduled a Special Management Committee Meeting on Tuesday, 10th August between all the negotiating parties in order to decide on how best to progress the deadlock.

SEIFSA on behalf of its affiliated Employer Associations remains committed to continuing negotiations with a view to finding common ground.

We will continue to keep all members fully informed as developments unfold.

L Trentini, SEIFSA