THE Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said it had noted with “serious concern” the response by the government to the Public Service unions’ wage demands formally tabled at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council.
The government has rejected the demand by public sector trade unions for a 10 percent pay hike in 2022, which would cost the fiscus R49.2 billion to implement.
It said public servants were treated unjustly and given a raw deal due to the government's decision not to implement the last leg of the multi-term wage agreement. To make matters worse for public service employees, the government had only implemented a non-pensionable cash gratuity for the staff.
It was reported this week that the government proposed that it awarded 1.2 million public servants an after-tax cash gratuity, or bonus, of R1000 a month in 2022, which would cost the fiscus R20.5bn.
However, Fedusa said this move, in essence, meant no real increase in the Cost of Living Adjustment.
This is as South Africans battle with high inflation and escalating household costs, exacerbated by high petrol prices.
“Fedusa and its affiliates are mindful of the impact that any conflict will have on the country and therefore call on the government to review their current wage freeze and table a better offer for our members,” it said, adding that its door remained open for engagement.
“We caution that our members are becoming impatient due to the consistent bad-faith bargaining by the employer,” it said.