Govt can afford over 3% wage hike for public service workers: Analyst

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Labour analyst Terry Bell says government can afford a lot more than a 3% wage hike that it is implementing.

Public service workers held a one day strike on Tuesday demanding a 10% wage increase.

Unions 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.

They’re calling for an end to what they say is the attack on collective bargaining – among other things. Bell says government is prolonging wage negotiations to buy time to force workers to accept their three percent wage offer.

“I think it shows the degree of anger within the public service. I think they made a complete mess with this thing. Many of the public sector unions have made it perfectly clear that what the govt 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 govt. 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: