Telkom wage talks update

Unions will hold bi-lateral meetings with Telkom next week after yet another visit to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) failed to elicit an agreement between the organisations.

Trade union, Solidarity, said that CCMA talks continued into the night on Thursday (4 July), after Telkom’s most up to date offer amounted to a total change in the remuneration model.

Negotiations between Telkom and unions, including the CWU and the SA communication union, began in March after Telkom announced 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.

Solidarity spokesperson Marius Croucamp, told BusinessTech late last month that the union was prepared to accept Telkom’s offer of a 6% increase over three years with minor changes to the original agreement of job security.

Solidarity had previously demanded an 8.8% increase.

However, he said that Telkom then withdrew its offer of 6% and replaced it with a “staggered model” based on functional areas.

At the CCMA on Thursday, the 20th day of negotiations, Solidarity said it rejected Telkoms latest offer, as did Sacu. A CWU spokesperson told Businesstech that he was still awaiting a report before deciding how to proceed.

Solidarity tweeted on Thursday:

“Telkom wage talks: Telkom stick to its offer and says that it is all the company can afford, “those who don’t like it can leave the company”.

Speaking at Telkom’s recent (14 June) results presentation in Sandton, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko told investors: “I remain confident we will get to the right outcome.”

Telkom noted that employee expenses increased by 14.5% in the year ended March 2013, primarily due to the R434 million cost relating to voluntary severance and early retirement packages, the average annual salary increase of 6.5% and a higher bonus provision.

It said said that 1,411 bargaining unit and 178 management employees exited up to 31 May 2013 as part of its bargaining process. The group has an approximate workforce of 21,000 people.

Solidarity said it would hold bi-lateral meetings next week.

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Telkom wage talks update