Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

boardroomtableMail & Guardian reports that public sector unions are bracing themselves for a stand-off with the government because they fear Ayanda Dlodlo, the new minister of public service and administration, will present a lower wage offer than the one put on the table by her predecessor, Faith Muthambi.  

Muthambi offered a three-year wage deal, with CPI plus 1.5% in the first year, and CPI plus 1% in both years two and three.  Tempers flared when a meeting meant to finalise the agreement was postponed last week, pending the treasury’s CPI projections for the next two years.  The offer was moreover made before the recent announcement of a 1% increase in value-added tax (VAT).  Union representatives say there are rumours that the offer of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 1.5% will be dropped to CPI plus 1%.  The parties are due to meet again on 4 and 5 April and a new agreement will now have to be backdated to 31 March once it is concluded.  Cosatu’s joint mandating committee chairperson Mike Shingange warned of the potential consequences of a lower offer, saying:  “That will be an indication of negotiation in bad faith and we don’t think they would like to see the reaction of workers.”  Azar Jammine of Econometrix commented that the new Ramaphosa administration would be careful not to upset the workers before an election.  “It’s quite clear from the budget in February that the government is going to award a fairly generous pay offer to public servants, presumably to ward off the possibility of a strike,” Jammine said.

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