Workers’ unions in the private security sector have reached a 13 % wage deal with the employer. The 28 unions approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the Bargaining Council to intervene in their wage negotiations.
The deal will end the possible strike action that was planned for the 26th of October. Workers will also receive a provident fund and medical aid as part of the settlement. The increase will come into effect on the 2nd of March next year.
Twenty-eight labour unions representing private security guards have announced a breakthrough in their wage talks.
“The basic salary that we are talking about is R5 036 in the first agreement, it will move to R5 726 and that’s where we quantify the 13% and it excludes other incentives and allowance benefits like medical aid, and annual bonus. Those are other benefits found in the main agreement,” says Philemon Bhembe: Satawu National Security Sector Coordinator.
The parties have been in negotiations for about four months. And with the help of the CCMA after a deadlock, the looming strike has been averted. The employer says the strike action would have been disastrous not only for the sector but for South Africa.
“In this sector, we have not experienced any strike action in 19 years. The last strike was in 2006. I want to commend the party on how they have negotiated the maturity and reached a compromise and settlement. From an employer perspective, the economic conditions are not the best at the moment,” says Franz Verhufen: Joint Employers Spokesperson.
Workers have welcomed the deal. They’ve attributed their victory to the labour unions for fighting to ensure that their living conditions improve.
“It was very difficult, the money that we were getting was peanuts but now there is light in the tunnel. My hope is that in the next negotiations we can achieve R10 000 so that we can survive,” a worker says.
“Really this money is little; we are not lying about that. We have challenges with petrol and food. Everything is going up but the money is going down,” another worker explains.
The bargaining council facilitated marathon talks and says it will make it a point that small and big security companies adhere to the 13% wage agreement.
“This agreement allows employees a much better benefit that we’ve had in the last 19 years on the increase perspective, benefit perspective and we do hope that employees will also come forth in cases where there are no enforcement or compliance happening,” says Christian Oliesetse: CEO Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector.
The private security officials have described as a welcome move the 13 % wage agreement. This is an above inflation offer that will take effect from the 2nd March 2022.
There’s a commitment from the employer as well to see the four-year agreement through, a move that will serve to cushion the workers in these tough economic times.
VIDEO: Workers’ unions in the private security sector reach a 13% wage deal: