Transnet offered a 1,5% non-pensionable allowance increase linked to the restructuring of Transnet, the shift alignment of all operations to improve efficiency and performance, ensuring that the Ports operate 24/7 and drastic reduction of current leave benefits.
This is the revised offer that Transnet Management presented to Organised Labour at the Transnet Bargaining Council (TBC) today where wage negotiations for 2021 resumed after Unions threatened on Monday 19 April 2021 to a declare a dispute.
This offer was immediately rejected by the negotiation teams of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU).
“This offer is so bad that Organised Labour can’t even present it to our constituents to obtain a revised mandate. It is rejected in totality. Transnet cannot link the annual wage increase to a variety of other issues which is governed by existing agreements such as leave and shifts. Wage negotiations is not a place to discuss privatisation of divisions in Transnet.
“To show our willingness to continue negotiation in good faith amidst this hostile attitude of Transnet, Organised Labour revised its wage demand from 12,6% to a 10% wage increase across the board,” says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU.
According to Transnet the state-owned enterprises who indicated that more than R210 billion had been lost due to the decade of state capture, want to steer itself out of its financial predicament by finding “funds elsewhere” to fund the 2021 wage increase.
Transnet acknowledged the aspirations and expectations of its employees but needs to find a balance to fix Transnet and turn it around.
“Transnet believe that an increase of 0% with a self-funded special reward payment in volumes if improved and there is revenue growth, is still our preferred option, but we presented Organised Labour with an alternative.”
In the “alternative package” of an amount equal to 1,5% non-pensionable allowance of the annual pensionable salary, the following “trade-offs” are included:
- Restructuring of Transnet as an organisation/Organizational optimisation for sustainability.
- Shift alignment for operational employees across Transnet to improve efficiently and performance.
- Transnet Port Terminals to convert to a continuous operation 24/7.
- Drastic amendments to the current leave policy to standardise statutory leave to 21 days across Transnet.
- Reduce the leave cycle from the existing 27 months to 18 months.
- Reduce accumulated leave from 60 to 30 days and allow employees 18 months grace to take accumulated leave.
- All non-statutory leave not taken, to be forfeited.
- Standardise the leave encashment formula across Transnet.
Organised Labour is awaiting the response of the Transnet management team to its revised wage demand.
Organised Labour informed Transnet on Monday that the Employer is forcing the Unions to declare a dispute and go out on the streets with its laughable wage offers.
The negotiations are continuing tomorrow, 22 April 2021 at 10h30.
UNTU will keep its members abreast of any new developments as the negotiation process unfolds.