POPCRU rejects government’s 3% wage offer, march planned to Union Buildings on Tuesday

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Some public sector unions say their members have rejected the government’s 3% wage offer. The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) want government to increase salaries by 6.5 %. The union will embark on a march to the Union Buildings on Tuesday.

Other demands include the implementation of a housing scheme and the filling of vacant positions in the sector.

POPCRU has called for South Africans to join in their march with thousands expected to occupy the streets of Tshwane.

POPCRU leadership held a special National Executive Committee meeting on Friday that took a decision to protest to put pressure on government to reconsider its current stance. The strike action could affect some important government services.

“Surely there will be skeletal staff working. We have actually mobilised our members in their numbers to be part of this national march. We hope that most will descend to Pretoria to show their anger and dissatisfaction against the government that is failing to take care of them. Especially in the increment. The employer is only offering 3% as an organisation we have rejected the 3%,” says POPCRU’s General Secretary Jeff Dladla.

Other public service unions are currently seeking a mandate from their members on the 3% offer. The deal includes a R1 000 after-tax cash gratuity payable to more than 1.3 million public servants.

POPCRU represents 160 000 police, correctional services and traffic officials. The workers union says some of their demands are historic and need urgent action.

“Reversal of austerity measures and budget cuts, full implementation of PSCBC resolution 1 of 2018, insufficient uniform and inadequate clothing allowance, filling of level 6 and 7 vacant posts, building safe police stations for effective crime prevention, employment of SAPS, DCS and traffic officials. End to police killings and attacks on correctional officers,” Dladla explains.

POPCRU says their members have been subjected to difficult working conditions for years. The union’s leadership says their march on Tuesday will also raise their dissatisfaction with rolling blackouts that they say have made their work difficult.

“This has also seen our police stations become vulnerable as communications lines are affected and communities can’t access the already under resourced police while those stations with generators run short with diesel. These also create challenges at operational call centres, registering of dockets creating an unnecessary delay. We call on all involved stakeholders to work together to fix the mess that is currently at Eskom,” Dladla reiterates.

POPCRU wants to send a stern warning to the employer and the public to prepare themselves for a full-blown industrial action that will see the downing of tools by those in the criminal justice cluster nationally if their memorandum of demands are not well received.

They simply say it cannot continue to be business as usual with those in the front lines of offering safety and security now finding themselves vulnerable.

VIDEO: Some public sector unions say their members reject 3% wage offer