Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has slammed the conduct of the Public Servants Association (PSA) during crucial wage negotiations between the government and public sector unions. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo / ANA
Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has slammed the conduct of the Public Servants Association (PSA) during crucial wage negotiations between the government and public sector unions. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo / ANA

Mchunu slams conduct of PSA in wage talks

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published May 19, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - PUBLIC Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has slammed the conduct of the Public Servants Association (PSA) during crucial wage negotiations between the government and public sector unions.

PSA acting deputy manager for members’ affairs Reuben Maleka on Monday went on a media roadshow alleging that the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) had excluded them from the facilitation process.

Maleka said the decision to exclude them from the current public service wage negotiations was childish and displayed a lack of vision by the PSCBC while Cosatu-affiliated unions remained at negotiations.

“It is ridiculous and short of any sense to exclude a union in the process to find a solution and which is salaries,” Maleka said.

“We are unhappy about the exclusion from the facilitation, but we cannot force ourselves if the employer and sweetheart unions have agreed to exclude us from the process.”

Maleka added that the PSA would not accept the 1.5 percent wage offer tabled by the government and would instead stick to their 7 percent wage demand.

"We view that as an insult to the workers,” he said. “We don't believe that any sensible trade union will be able to approach its members seeking a mandate to accept such an offer because it is far from addressing the demands we have made.”

Responding to these allegations of exclusion yesterday, Mchunu said the PSA walked out of the wage talks while it was in process, contrary to their allegations.

“The PSA has opted not to participate in the ongoing facilitation process and has resorted to making public statements, which are neither responsible nor constructive and not in the interests of the public servants in the public service; we strongly discourage the actions by the PSA,” Mchunu said.

“Government and Organised Labour in Council are currently trying to resolve the impasse through the constitutionally recognised process of collective bargaining and such acts and utterances fly against this very principle.”

The government continues with wage talks with other public sector unions as it tries to implement a wage freeze after the Labour Appeals Court compelled it to honour the final part of a 2018 3-year public sector wage deal.

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