Trade unions representing public servants say they might accept the government’s current pay rise offer of 3%, provided they meet their members’ conditions.
The government was forced to go back to the drawing table after talks with the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council failed.
Unions have threatened strike action if their demands are not met.
Unions say members will now accept the 3% offer provided the R1000 bonus incentive provided by governments is included in their total package after 31st March 2023.
Unions threatened strike action after talks failed with the government last week. They had initially demanded a 10% salary increase and later reduced it to 6.5%.
Popcru March | Public sector unions say their members reject 3% wage offer
“Our members of PSA have done their votes although we are still missing some of the votes from some of the members from the branches. The indication that we are getting is they could accept 3% plus cash gratuity. However, they want affirmation or a clause that protects that come 31st of March if there is no resolution they will continue to receive their R1000 cash gratuity, and come 31st of March R1000 can be incorporated into the baseline. It’s either it continues the R1000 or is incorporated into the baseline,” says the Public Service Association (PSA) Spokesperson Rueben Maleka.
The government says it has no money to pay its workers. It says the current unbudgeted wage demand could cost the fasces more than R60 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.
Public service sector remuneration is the government’s biggest expenditure and international rating agencies have been calling for the government to reduce public spending.
“Come the 1st of April 2023, we should also have a resolution in place that addresses the salary adjustments for the next financial year, but members are saying for this current financial year, they want one that it be incorporated into the baseline, meaning that it’s not lost. Secondly, it either has to be continued up until such time that it has no value, but at this moment, the R1000 carries value to its members in terms of alleviating their conditions, issues of cost of living, petrol price, the electricity price and what if it’s taken away? Does that mean that we will no longer be able to afford our lives?” asks Maleka.
The resolution is on the table until this Wednesday. If unions fail to sign, the resolution will lapse and they will have to go back to the council to negotiate a new resolution with the government.