The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has described government’s wage increase offer of 1.5%  and the monthly cash allowance of R1 695 for public servants as an insult to its members who are frontline workers.

The new wage agreement was signed on Monday by the majority of unions represented in the Public Coordinating Bargaining Council.

Other unions which have yet to sign on the wage offer include NEHAWU and SAPU prompting concerns of possible strike action. POPCRU spokesperson Richard Mamabolo explains some of their objections to the wage deal.

“The first thing that our members raised was the fact that the offer did not touch on baseline salaries, it did not improve the notches that they are in. Secondly, all this gratuity money that is being proposed does not impact on the pensions of members.”

Public Sector Unions agree to sign government’s wage offer of 1.5%:

Meanwhile, the Public Service Department has expressed gratitude to public sector unions that have signed the draft wage agreement which will be back-dated to the beginning of this month.

They include the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa and the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa.

Deputy Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga says public servants are at the forefront of making sure people do not contract the COVID-19 virus.

“Our public servants are in the forefront of ensuring that people do not contract the virus and the pandemic does not affect everybody. If it was according to that we would have given them a lot of money but it is also real that nobody had budgeted for this pandemic and therefore the resources are not in abundance. We want to appreciate and thank the unions for acknowledging and taking into account the challenges that the country is facing and therefore being patriotic and accepting the offer that is on the table.”