Labour unions representing public sector workers have rubbished government’s claim that its final offer in the deadlocked wage talks comes to an average increase of 7.5%.
The seven unions representing an estimated 800 000 members say they will proceed with their National Day of Action next Tuesday, adding that even members who constitute an essential service are prepared to down tools.
Spokesperson for labour federation Fedusa, Waheed Hoosen says government’s claim is false.
“The 7.5%, which was the last offer that was withdrawn by the employer is still the same offer. The government hasn’t tabled any new offer, the offer is made up of the 3% baseline, and a 4.5% cash gratuity. So, there is no further offers that have been put on the table, we are yet to hear about a new offer. So, government indicating that they’ve written to indicate that the public servants have been offered a 7.5% is not factual, it’s actually reckless in our opinion.”
Return to negotiations
Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi has urged labour unions representing public sector workers to return to the negotiations, after unions threatened to continue with a planned strike action this coming Tuesday.
The unions have called government’s offer disingenuous after they were offered a 3% pensionable increase and a R1000 allowance, which government said pushes the offer to 7.5%. Nxesi said that the cash allowance will benefit workers earning the lowest salaries.
“In sofar as we are concerned, that cash allowance benefits the lowest paid public service workers who some of them are benefiting to the tune of 13% because it’s implemented on a sliding scale. That’s what we are having. This R1000 was a once off temporary payment in the prior period, and there was no agreement to continue. It is now part of the new offer.”
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Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)