Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has called on state negotiators and unions to return to the bargaining council to resolve the public sector pay talks as soon as possible.

“We are negotiating to finalise (this) as a matter of urgency,” she said in a statement issued on Friday.

“...We want to finalise this negotiation to allow us to engage with our employees and the unions on how best can we improve productivity...”

Sisulu indicated that state negotiators were available to resume talks from Monday.

Negotiations were put on hold this week as the Congress of SA Trade Unions sought a mandate on government's latest offer.

Ministerial spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said Cosatu had asked for two weeks for consultation.

He also confirmed that government had upped its latest offer to a general salary increase of 6.7 percent, from 6.5 percent, for the 2012/2013 financial year.

The most recent round of wage negotiations began on Monday evening and finished on Tuesday at about 3.30am.

While there had been “some progress,” the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC), which represents 11 unions, was not satisfied with the latest offer, its spokesman Chris Kloppers said this week. The caucus had lowered its demand from eight to 7.5 percent.

Talks deadlocked in May but Sisulu tried to revive them in June. Fresh negotiations later deadlocked when the ILC declared a wage dispute.

Kloppers could not immediately be reached for comment. - Sapa