Labour Federation COSATU says the public services sector should not be excluded from wage increases as government had allowed for some State-Owned Enterprises and Parliamentary workers to receive salary hikes.

Public sector labour unions have threatened to go on a nationwide strike if government does not revise its zero percent wage increase offer for the 2021/22 financial year.

Government negotiators are due to present their salary offers today.

COSATU’s chief negotiator for public sector unions Mugwena Maluleke says, “They must come to the chamber and put a proposal today to say how they think they can be able to address the issue. There are frontline workers who have been there for our people, rendering certain services. They must explain how they managed to give the Parliamentary workers an increase in the midst of the pandemic and the SOEs the go ahead to give 6 percent increases. We were in the midst of the pandemic last year but they don’t give the public servants increases. What process did they use to give to some and not to the others.”

Unions are demanding a 7 percent increase:

Meanwhile, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) says it’s more than convinced that a war is unavoidable between organised labour and the government.

This after the address by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu. The union is accusing the Minister of turning the public against unions by insinuating that salary increases will lead to the diminishing of the quality of service delivery.

PSA expects a revised offer

Trade Union PSA’s national manager Claude Naiker says they expect the government to make a revised offer.

“Should the employer not meet our demand of proper salary increase, the union will have no option but to declare a dispute and embark on industrial action. Once we declare a dispute on Friday the 23rd of April a process of conciliation will take place over 30 days, should conciliation fail then we have an option of embarking on a strike.”