As the country joins the international community in marking Workers’ Day, a strike is looming in the public sector. The Public Servants’ Association of South Africa’s (PSA) Chief Negotiator Reuben Maleka says it is unfortunate that workers have to celebrate the day as wage negotiations drag on.

Maleka says the union is demanding a 10% wage increase. He says government has also been served with a 30-day notice to embark on industrial action following the collapse of the wage negotiations which started in October 2017.

“Unfortunately, we have entered this day of the Workers’ Day heavy-hearted given the fact that the issue of salaries has not been concluded. We have tabled our demands as back as October 2017 with the aim that by the 1 April would have seen already the salary increases implemented with the better increase. I can confirm that the PSA has already declared a dispute and we are on the 13th day of our dispute and in the 30-day period, when it expires without any conclusion, we might see a strike in the public service.”

The PSA has over 238 000 active members. It prides itself as being the largest non politically aligned workers’ union in the country.

The union declared a wage dispute in the Bargaining Council and plans to strike if its demands for a 10% wage increase are not met.

Organisers highlighted successes achieved by the PSA in the fight for workers rights.  Among them exposing Steinhoff’s way of managing pensions and exposing the Public Investment Corporation for altering policies without consulting workers.

In Pretoria, members of PSA gathered at the giant Stadium in Soshanguve, north of the city, to celebrate Workers Day.

 

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