Government can afford more than 3% wage hike for public servants: Analyst

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Labour analyst Terry Bell says government can afford a lot more than a three percent wage hike.

This as public service workers continue the strike across all provinces, demanding a 10% wage increase.

On Tuesday, unions representing public service workers handed over a memorandum of demands, which was signed and received by acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi outside the office of the National Treasury in Pretoria.

In the memorandum, unions are calling for an end to an attack on trade bargaining, a 10% wage increase, the permanent filling of all vacant posts and the insourcing of all outsourced services, among others demands.

Bell says government is prolonging wage negotiations to buy time to force workers to accept their three percent offer.

“I think it shows the degree of anger within the public service. I think they have made a compete mess with this thing. Many of the public sector unions have made it perfectly clear that what the government is doing is failing the public servants who really do the work. The nurses, police, people who work in the healthcare sector, firefighters etc. They are the people who are not very highly paid, and they are they are ones who are now imposed upon by the government. Government can afford a lot more than three percent you can cut the fat in certain areas in order to pay what you have to.”

Unions have given government seven days to respond and meet their demands or they will embark on a national shutdown.

In the report below, public servants vow to shut down services if their demands are not met: