CWU rejects improved Telkom wage offer

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it has rejected an improved offer from Telkom to its staff, in an ongoing wage dispute which includes the SA communication union, and Solidarity.

CWU spokesman, Mantakana Mothapo, told BusinessTech that Telkom had increased its offer from 1.5% to 6% across the board on Tuesday (28 May), however that offer has been rejected with the CWU who is seeking an 11.5% increase, while Solidarity has demanded an 8.8% increase.

Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp, meanwhile, told BusinessTech that the union has received an offer of 6% over three years from Telkom, with job guarantees – namely, no forced retrenchments – over that period.  Croucamp said that Solidarity will take this offer back to its members and will have an answer on Monday (3 June).

Mothapo said that the CWU was in consultation with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) regarding a new date to continue negotiations with Telkom.

The unions referred the dispute with Telkom to the CCMA in mid-May after negotiations ended in deadlock with Telkom offering a final increase of 1.5%.

Croucamp noted that negotiations had begun in March, and after five rounds of negotiations, it had made no progress.

Telkom is under pressure to reduce its head count as it looks to trim costs and plot a new way forward.

It announced in March that management and bargaining unit staff would be afforded the opportunity of applying for voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and early retirement packages (VERPs) until the end of August 2013.

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CWU rejects improved Telkom wage offer