South African unions currently engaged in wage increase negotiations with state-owned power utility Eskom, are willing to accept the power company’s offer that it tabled on Friday.
South African trade union Solidarity is asking other trade unions in the bargaining unit, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers, to settle on what has been offered, Engineering News reported.
Eskom tables close offer
Solidarity energy industry deputy general secretary, Deon Reyneke, said on Monday that the parastatal’s decision was evident of an increase.
“However, the other trade unions stand firm on their unaffordable demands and are, therefore, unwilling to negotiate any further,” Reyneke said.
Reyneke added that the power company’s offer of 7-9% for year one comes close to matching the union’s demand of 8.75%, adding that the trade union is willing to enter into further negotiations with the employer, media reported.
“Eskom’s offer involves a salary increase on a sliding scale of between 7% and 9% for year one, and a salary increase equal to the inflation rate plus one percentage point for year two.
“Part of our demand, however, includes a salary increase of 8.75% across the board for both years, as well as an increase in members’ housing offer,” Reyneke said.
Offer extends beyond wages
Media reported that according to Solidarity, the parastatal’s offer extends to included improvements in employees’ conditions of employment, which includes five months’ fully paid maternity leave and six months’ maternity leave at 30% remuneration.
Reyneke explained: “In general, we are satisfied with Eskom’s wage offer and we would like to iron out the last minor differences in order to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
“We believe it is crucial that all role-players should now try to reach a favourable agreement around the negotiation table that will assure the sustainability of Eskom and ensure stability inpower supply.”