Public servants embark on a ‘National Day of Action’ as wage talks reach impasse

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Thousands of public servants are expected to take to the streets on Tuesday following a deadlock in wage negotiations between unions and the employer.

Public servants are set to embark on a nationwide march that is likely to disrupt government services. The unions say the planned one-day march is part of the ongoing demonstrations ahead of an indefinite strike if the government fails to improve its 3% wage offer.

Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) members in government employment will get together for what they call a National Day of Action to demand higher wages.

Negotiations reached a deadlock after the government made what it called a final offer of 7.5% comprising 3% pensionable and 4.5% non-pensionable funds.

Unions have rejected this, demanding a 10% increase. They say they will deliver a memorandum of demands to the National Treasury.

Thousands of public servants expected to take to the streets on Tuesday:

Public servants in the Free State are expected to also join in the nationwide strike.

They are among about 800 000 workers across the country who will be demanding pay increases of at least 6.5% or a figure linked to consumer inflation.

The march will start at 10 o’clock at Mahungra just outside the city centre.

COSATU’s provincial Secretary Monyatso Mahlatsi says, “We will be marching to the provincial Treasury to hand in a memorandum of demands whereby we will be rejecting the 3% that was forced upon the public servants by the employer. And at the same time, we will also be demanding that the collective bargaining arrangements within the public service be respected.”