DURBAN - The National Union of Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) is set to clash with government, on Thursday.
The union is going to announce double-digit public sector wage demands at a press conference in Braamfontein according to a document seen by Fin24. They are also seeking a one-year agreement with the state as well as changes to housing allowances.
NEHAWU, COSATU's largest partner, will present a joint opening demand that they will represent more than 50% of government workers.
FEDUSA partner, Public Service Association also announced their wage demands last month which included a one-year wage deal and increases between 10% and 12%.
Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba said at the press conference that the negotiation period would be tough. He said, " We do recognise that the compensation of employees raises fiscal risk".
In the 2017 mini-budget, the Treasury showed a compensation annexure which showed that the public sector wage bill counts for 35,3% of the consolidated expenditure. It also showed that the provincial health departments are spending between 50% to 70% of their budgets on remuneration.
Two years ago, both government and the unions agreed on a 7% pay hike plus 1% increase in the following two years.
The government has estimated a 7,3% wage increase across the public sector for the next three years to keep the expenditure within the fiscal ceiling.
The PSA has forewarned that the unions will not back down on their double-digit demands and have blamed the economic difficulties of South Africa on the government. They indicated that two Cabinet reshuffles, rating agencies downgrades and state capture as the reasons for the difficulties.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE