Workers in the tax-collecting agency are set to meet with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Monday and Tuesday after their wage talks deadlocked.

The workers intend to strike from Thursday. If not averted, the strike will take place at a time that the government wants to boost revenue collection, after SARS underperformed in recent years partly due to poor administration.

SARS says the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) have given it a seven-day notice to go on strike.  The unions had initially demanded a 15% wage increase before revising it to 11.4% and later 9%. SARS is offering 7%.

SARS says it hopes to avert the planned national strike by trade union NEHAWU and PSA on Thursday.

The current three-year wage agreement that SARS had with organised labour, expires on March the 31st.

NEHAWU and the PSA started the current round of negotiations with SARS in November 2018. The parties involved in the wage negotiations could not reach an agreement.

SARS Executive for Relations Benefit, Takalani Musekwa, says they have scheduled two meetings for Monday and Tuesday.

“The current position from the trade unions is that they are asking for an 11.4 % salary increase across the board. And they are asking for a few other demands. They are asking for pre-natal leave for employees who are pregnant who need to go see doctors during their pregnancy, a  leave cycle to apply for family responsibility leave over the 3-year cycle. Long service award that we give employees by the increase that will apply to their salaries. And they are also asking us to give a gratitude gift and exit gift as a colleague or employee who goes on retirement.”