There appears to be a lot of confusion concerning the wage increase that is supposed to take effect in the Security sector on 1 September 2018.
On 27 July labour unions in the sector signed a 6.7% across the board wage increase for the period 1 September 2018 to 30 August 2018.
The reason why the agreement is for one year only is because the Department of Labour finally approved the establishment of the Private Security Sector National Bargaining Council in late June, after unions worked on it for more than 20 years.
However, since the council was approved a mere two months ago, it goes without saying that it has not been set up as yet. A board and an executive team to mange its day-to-day running must still be appointed. The council will need office space, furniture, etc. to operate. All this will be done in due course and should be finalised in good time for the next round of wage negotiations.
Some members have expressed dissatisfaction with the agreed percentage wage increase – but it is important to understand the context under which it was negotiated. When wage talks kicked-off early this year employers put a zero percentage (0%) wage increase offer on the table. They explained that since the National Minimum Wage was set to come into effect on 1 May 2018, they were not willing to raise wages but would only comply with the new legislation.
Unsurprisingly, unions rejected this given they had put a long list of demands on the table including a minimum wage of R7 500. But employers would not budge.
Things changed, however, when government announced that the implementation date of the National Minimum Wage was postponed to October. The unions pushed the employers from the original 0% to 6.7%. By then the parties were facing a critical deadline in that if they did not sign the agreement by 27 July 2018, the Department of Labour could not promulgate it and workers would receive NO increase.
The agreement was forwarded to the department at the end of July. We are waiting for it to be promulgated into law.
It is therefore under these abnormal conditions that the wage increase was signed. We hope that clarifies matters.