Today's Labour News

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boardroomtableBL Premium reports that the government, which intends to pay no cost-of-living increase for public servants for the next three years, did not table a wage offer in talks last week.

Disgruntled public-sector unions have now threatened a total shutdown of the public service should the government not respond favourably to their demands for higher wages as tabled at the Public Sector Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) on 1 March. Mugwena Maluleke, chief negotiator for union federation Cosatu’s public-sector unions, said the parties met at the PSCBC on 29 and 30 March to negotiate, but the employer requested more time to “enable a proper costing before tabling a response”. Mugwena said that as a gesture of showing “bona fide intentions in this round of negotiations, we have afforded the employer the time to thoroughly look at our submissions”. He warned, however, that should the employer frustrate the negotiations by insisting on a wage freeze they would ballot union members for a strike. Maluleke advised that that they were demanding a wage increase of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 4% across the board for 2021/2022. The unions’ other demands included a R2,500 housing allowance, a special risk allowance of 12% of the basic salary during national disasters such as Covid-19, and the filling of all vacant posts in the public service. Reuben Maleka of the Public Servants Association (PSA) said: “If the employer does not respond favourably to our demands, I foresee a total shutdown of the public service. In fact, that’s where it’s going to go because of the attitude that the employer has adopted.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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