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Information on Bargaining Councils

The SALGBC is established voluntarily in terms of the Labour Relations Act, by agreement between the employer organization (SALGA) and trade unions parties (IMATU and SAMWU). This agreement is contained in the Council’s Constitution (a collective agreement), which is the fundamental governing instrument that regulates the relationship between the employer organization and the trade union parties, to be read in conjunction with the Labour Relations Act.

The SALGBC is comprised of 3 parties, SALGA, SAMWU and IMATU. SALGA is the only recognized employer organization, representing 278 Municipalities in the local government sector. The trade union parties are SAMWU and IMATU, which represent employees in the 278 individual municipalities. The employer body and the trade unions are responsible for negotiating conditions of service and matters of mutual interest, which culminate in collective agreements that become binding on the members of SALGA, on the one hand, and members of SAMWU and IMATU, on the other.

The Bargaining Council obtains its funding from Bargaining Council Levies, which are contributed by employees and municipalities. The levies increase annually on 1 July. The Bargaining Council Levy is currently R4.10 payable by each employee and an equal amount of R4.10 payable by the employer. The total contribution remitted by the employer to the SALGBC is R8.20 with effect from 1 July 2010.

The Bargaining Council Levy must be paid by all employees, including Municipal Managers and contract employees. Only employees who are on learnerships are excluded.

Agency Shop Fee

The parties to the council have also concluded an Agency Shop Collective Agreement as contemplated in Section 25 of the Labour Relations Act. All municipal employees who do not belong to the two Trade Unions (SAMWU or IMATU) must pay an Agency Shop Fee. These monies are administered by the council and paid over to the trade unions.

The Agency Shop Fee is 1%, up to a maximum of R65,00, of the employee's monthly gross income. In addition, all employees who are required to pay the Agency Shop Fee must also pay the applicable Bargaining Council Levy, which is currently R4.10.


The powers and functions of the Council shall be:

  • to endeavour to maintain and enhance industrial peace and to promote sound relations between the parties;
  • to endeavour to prevent disputes from arising, by negotiation and conclusion of agreements on wages, conditions of employment and all matters of mutual interest to employers and employees in the Local Government Undertaking;
  • to administer, supervise and enforce the said agreements;
  • to perform the dispute resolution functions referred to in Section 51 of the Act;
  • to establish and administer funds to be used for resolving disputes;
  • to regulate, through collective agreements the thresholds of representivity for the exercise of organisational rights by trade unions within the sector;
  • to enter into collective agreements on organisational rights and on agency shop or closed shop agreements within the sector;
  • to establish and administer any fund or scheme for the benefit of one or more of the parties or their members;
  • to promote education and training in the Local Government Undertaking;
  • to consider, advise, develop proposals and make representations on any policy issues, legislation or proposed legislation affecting the parties and their members;
  • to seek to determine by collective agreement matters which may not be issues in dispute for the purpose of strikes and/or lockouts;
  • to seek by collective agreement to regulate picketing rules;
  • to seek to regulate essential services through collective agreements on minimum services and representations on the determination of essential services;
  • to seek to reach agreement on forms of consultative forums or committees, to be established in municipalities and to confer on such forums or committees additional issues for consultation;
  • to delegate any of its powers and functions to divisions, committees or employees of the council through collective agreement;
  • to do such other things as provided for in the Act or as may be agreed to by the Central Council from time to time.
Bargaining Councils