Workers in the Public sector to collect Report Back on Wage Talks

Published Date : Apr 08, 2015

On Wednesday, public sector unions will gather across four regions to collect a report back on wage talks with the government and establish a way ahead after the due date for negotiations passed on 1st of April.

There have been rancorous talks between the unions and the government so far. Dismay between the parties became more intense after a dispute was raised by the government lodged on 27 March, explaining that its mandate has been ‘drained’. This was for the first time that a dispute was lodged by the employers instead of the unions.

The Finance and Fiscal Commission (FFC) had warned about the jeopardy of the quick development of the wage bill related to the public sector and had requested the government to limit its outlay on salaries for achieving the goal of fiscal consolidation.

SA’s public-sector wage bill comprising R400 billion is known to be topmost in comparison with countries at an identical level of economic advancement.1.3 million funded posts are present in the public sector but the hike in their salaries over the past several years hasn’t been equated to the productivity increase. 

5.8% was the ultimate offer set by the government but the workers asked for a hike of atleast 10% on their wages.

Congress of South African public service trade union’s co-ordinator, Sifiso Khumalo, told everyone that moving forward, there would be an appeasement between both the parties, with the help of Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council. Unsettled dates have been provided for appeasement, but they are yet to be confirmed by both sides prior to getting announced. The meetings on Wednesday are decided to eventuate in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Western Cape and the North West.

At the same time, discharged Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, is said to be conversing to workers in the Western Cape on whether to construct an alternate federation or to battle to restore Cosatu. 

Mr Vavi’s efforts to speak to workers seem to be very arduous because Cosatu cautioned all its members as well as its structures that they should forbid him a platform to address and to head any meetings.