‘Positive response’ to new public sector wage offer, which includes cash payment of R1,000
A new offer of a 1.5% salary increase was tabled for civil servants, resulting in an increase of 11.7% for the lowest paid civil servants.
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- The government has offered public sector unions a new wage agreement, which includes a monthly cash allowance of R1000.
- The offer will see the lowest paid workers benefit from an 11.7% pay increase.
- A representative from Cosatu said members were positive about the new offering.
In anticipation of a possible public sector strike as early as this week, Civil Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu urged unions to consider a new offer.
The new offer will increase wages by 1.5% and include a monthly cash allowance of R1,000. For the lowest-paid civil servants (level 1 workers), this will translate to a salary adjustment of 11.7%, the Civil Service Bargaining Coordination Council (PSCBC) said.
The new offer means that Level 6 employees will receive an amount equal to a CPI cost of living adjustment (4.2%, for negotiation purposes) plus 2.1%, while Level 10 employees will receive an amount equal to the CPI.
The proposed implementation date for the offer is April 1.
“The revised offer now guarantees a minimum cash equivalent of Rand 1,000 for all employees at all employment levels,” the board said in a statement following a process facilitated with the assistance of the International Labor Organization, part of the United Nations. The cash payment of R 1000 is non-pensionable, which means that it does not attract a compulsory contribution to the workers’ pension fund. The government previously offered R978.
Last week, unions affiliated with Cosatu filed a demand for a 2% wage adjustment and a monthly bonus of R1500.
But Mugwena Maluleke – general secretary of the Democratic Union of Teachers of the SA (Sadtu) and spokesperson for the Cosatu-affiliated unions involved in the negotiations – said the union had so far received “positive responses” to the news. offer from its members.
Maluleke said it was encouraging the government has moved from an offer that would have meant no pay rise to the current offer.
The Civil Servants Association (PSA) is currently awaiting the results of its poll, which could trigger a strike of more than 225,000 civil servants across the country.
Back to the table?
The union left the bargaining board weeks ago, declaring a dispute with the government. But PSA spokesman Reuben Maleka said while the union has not been officially briefed on the latest offer, it expected to get more clarity on it at the PSCBC meeting scheduled for Tuesday. – indicating a possible return to negotiations.
Mchunu said the government would not budge from its latest offer and urged unions such as the PSA, which left negotiations, to return to the board for Tuesday’s meeting.
“The Minister of Finance gave us the fiscal framework which also specifies the percentages of increase. We operate [within] that, and we’re not going to deviate from it. Where we get the money for the increase is something we have to look at because it is not budgeted except for the 1.5% that we have offered, ”he said.
The board said the unions had submitted the offer to their members for discussion.
Faced with a struggling economy and growing calls to cut the public wage bill, the government initially offered no increases to workers, raising fears of a union strike as talks stalled for months.