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Salary increase talks between gov, PSA at deadlock

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The Public Servants Association says government has not made any improvements on its previous offers for public sector salaries.

This after wage negotiations broke down on Friday night, paving the way for unions to declare a dispute.

Government and public sector unions have deadlocked over the employer’s proposal to increase salaries on condition that workers forfeit some of their current benefits.

The offer was rejected by all public sector unions. A move by unions to declare a dispute will allow negotiations to enter a conciliation process before unions can seek permission for a strike action.

The Public Servants’ Association’s national manager Claude Naicker says there’s no substantial offer at the moment.

“The deadlock has been reached in the wage negotiations. We will now follow the dispute mechanism procedure. What they have proposed is to reduce other benefits the public servant workers enjoy in order to fund salary increases. The PSA with other unions has rejected this and has indicated to the employer that it will not accept any reduction. At the moment there’s no substantial offer on any of the demands tabled or any improvement on previous offers for public servants.”

Unions are demanding a 7% increase:

PSA expects a revised offer

Naicker says they expect the government to make a revised offer.

“Should the employer not meet our demand of proper salary increase, the union will have no option but to declare a dispute and embark on industrial action. Once we declare a dispute on Friday, the 23rd of April, a process of conciliation will take place over 30 days. Should conciliation fails then we have an option of embarking on a strike.”

Meanwhile, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) says it’s more than convinced that a war is unavoidable between organised labour and government. This after the address by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu.

The union is accusing the Minister of turning the public against unions by insinuating that salary increases will lead to the diminishing of the quality of service delivery.

Source: SABC


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