Labour federation, COSATU, says it is hopeful that government will renegotiate a wage offer with public sector unions. Unions and government representatives are meeting at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council on Tuesday.

It follows a meeting request from government, following last week’s deadlock over this year’s public service wage negotiations. Workers are demanding a seven-percent wage hike, with government having previously offered a zero percent increase.

COSATU’s chief negotiator for Public Sector Unions Mugwena Maluleke says, “We believe that government has a responsibility to revive the offer and see if we can reach common ground. It will be good for everyone because what we want is an improvement on the conditions of service for the public servants. We are going to do everything and scratch our heads and think out of the box in order to ensure that we get something together for the public servants.”

Municipality workers suspended following a strike in March

Fifteen employees of the Ndwedwe Municipality, north of Durban, have been suspended following a strike in March. The workers were demanding office space and car allowances for field workers among other things. The municipal manager Musa Hadebe says the municipality is conducting an investigation before deciding whether the disciplinary steps should be taken. He says the suspensions have not affected the operations of the municipality.

“However as the municipality, we have managed to build offices in attending to the issue of office space and we are in negotiations with the employees in trying to advise them against taking car allowances. Currently, the municipality provides employees with vehicles suitable for the terrain it includes climbing mountains.”