The South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) along with four other unions in the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac) on Monday said it would take employers' wage offers to their members for approval.
Last week, labour unions Satawu, the Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa, the Transport and Omnibus Workers' Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, and the Tirisano Transport Workers Union met with employer associations, the Commuter Bus Employers Organisation (Cobeo) and the South Africa Bus Employers Association (Sabea) at the bargaining council for the first phase of wage negotiations in the bus sector.
There was very little movement registered for most of the week until unions made concessions in an attempt to move negotiations forward, including reducing the demand for an across the board (ATB) increase from 20% to 16% and cutting the demand for a minimum basic wage from R10 000 to R8 000.
The minimum basic wage in the sector is currently R6 076.
Labour undertook to consider payment of yearly bonuses in employee's birth month, provided employers agreed to pay pro-rata bonuses to workers terminating employment contracts regardless of whether they were dismissed or not. A yearly bonus was currently paid in early December each year.
In response, employers proposed that the parties sign a three-year wage agreement to be implemented from April 1, this year, to March 31, 2021, initially receiving a 4.7% increase, followed by a 5.2% increase in 2020 and a 5.7% increase in 2021.
Employers also proposed the same ATB increases for the minimum basic wage for the three-year agreement.
Responding to labour's demand of six months maternity leave at full pay, employers offered four months maternity at 35% pay for the 2018/19 year; 37% for the 2019/20 year and 40% for the 2020/21 year.
Included in Cobeo and Sabea's offer are nominal increases for subsistence and travel allowances, night shift and cross-border allowances.
Each of the five unions would seek a mandate from their members on whether to accept the offer and report back to the bargaining council for the second phase of negotiations, which will be held from February 12 to 16.