The wage deal, which will be applied retrospectively from 1 July 2016, includes an annual increase of 7% or R1 000 per month in basic pay, whichever is greater, with increases ranging from 12.5% for the lowest paid employees to 7% for other bargaining unit employees in higher level bands.
Living out allowances, housing rent subsidies and home ownership allowances will increase by R120 per month for each year of the three year agreement.
Moreover, the employer’s medical aid contributions will increase by 6.4% from 1 January 2017 and on the first of January for each succeeding year of the wage agreement by 5.5%.
The pensionable emolument bases for retirement and provident funds will increase by 6.4% from 1 July 2016 and 5.5% for the second and third year of the agreement;
The holiday leave allowance (HLA), or thirteenth cheque, increases by the same percent as the basic wage, however off a lower base. The base will increase over the three years to end at the same level as the basic monthly wage at the end of the agreement period. Other allowances have lower increases.
The wage deal will result in an increase in the labour cost, with a cost-to-company increase of 6.71% in year 1, 6.56% in year two and 6.96% in year three, or 6.74% on average over the three year period.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement following a constructive and collaborative negotiation process. The current economic environment continues to place significant pressure on platinum mining companies, as well as mineworkers, and we are glad to have achieved an agreement that is fair to our employees, benefiting the lowest paid workers the most with a 12.5% increase in basic pay, while still ensuring our business remains viable for the long-term,” says Amplats CEO Chris Griffith.
Amplats has also extended this agreement to the National Union of Mineworkers, the United Association of South Africa, as well as non-union affiliated employees.
This wage deal has been signed just days before Sibanye Gold is due to take ownership of Amplats’ Rusternburg Operations – which employs a large number of AMCU members.
In a statement on Thursday, AMCU pointed out that the new wage agreement is “binding to Sibanye for the next three years” – a company that AMCU says is “known for its reluctancy in improving the lives of its workers.”
“[This wage deal] will make it impossible for Sibanye to attack our members on wages and other conditions of employment,” the trade union said in a statement.
AMCU said that it would release further details on the wage deal at a mass meeting to be held in Rustenburg over the weekend.