Battle between government and union over salary increases intensifies
Johannesburg - The battle over government’s failure to increase salaries of its 1.3 million employees is set for a hearing at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) next week.
Cosatu’s public sector unions declared a dispute at the PSCBC before the Covid-19 national lockdown. Its affiliate and the country’s largest public sector union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), had asked PSCBC general secretary Frikkie de Bruin to set down conciliation of the dispute earlier this month.
The PSCBC informed Nehawu on Monday that the matter has been set down for three days next week. According to Nehawu, the conciliation will be held between next Tuesday and Thursday.
The union has promised to do everything in its power to fight the government for reversing workers’ gains and disregarding binding collective bargaining agreements.
On April 15, which was payday for most public servants, the government failed to effect wage increases between 4.4% and 5.4% depending on salary level. Nehawu said its members were disappointed and angry for not getting their salary increases last Wednesday as stipulated in the agreement.
The Public Servants Association has threatened to haul Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu to the Labour Court over the failure to effect the salary increases in violation of the 2018 wage agreement sealed at the PSCBC. Mchunu and his department had repeatedly indicated that they were committed to implementing the agreement.