boardroomtableBL Premium reports that labour federation Cosatu says it will give negotiations over government’s 0% wage increase a chance, an indication that unions are leaning towards hammering out a wage deal rather than take to the streets.

The parties hit a deadlock on Friday when unions rejected the state’s formal offer of a 0% cost of living adjustment for the 2021/2022 financial year. Mugwena Maluleke, the chief negotiator for Cosatu’s public service unions, indicated on Tuesday that the parties needed to find each other as “a strike is not an end in itself”. He stated: “For now, we have declared a deadlock which will be followed by a dispute. The process of conciliation may take 21 days maximum but might be shorter if the parties come closer to each other.” Maluleke added that if the conciliation processes did not yield results, the unions would apply for a certificate of non-resolution and serve a 14-day strike notice to the employer thereafter. Department of Public Service & Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu indicated on Tuesday that the government was working “very hard” to break the deadlock and called on unions to stop saying they “reject” the proposal and instead engage on the alternatives and the way forward. Reuben Maleka of the Public Servants Association said they expected the government to table a revised offer and that in the event the conciliation process failed, “we are going to embark on a strike”. Zola Saphetha of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said his union continued to hold a strong view that “a war” between government and public servants was unavoidable and the two were about to “butt heads”.

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page