Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Budget cuts an onslaught on workers, says Nehawu

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Oct 29, 2020

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Cape Town - The biggest public service union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), says the budget cuts over the next three years is a continued onslaught by the government on its members and workers in general.

The union vowed to force the government to honour the 2018 wage agreement despite its push to freeze wages.

"The intended cuts of R60 billion in 2021/22, R90bn in 2022/23 and R150bn in 2023/24 mostly from the public sector wage bill is continuation of the onslaught by the government and Treasury on our members and workers.

"We remain steadfast and we will do everything possible to force the government to honour the last leg of the 2018 wage agreement including the permanent employment of community health-care workers, the payment of a risk allowance or motivational incentives for front-line workers and the filling of all funded vacant posts."

Nehawu said it was disappointed that after President Cyril Ramaphosa pronounced on the absorption of health-care workers as a response to the burden on our health-care system, there was still no clear allocation from the budget to finance their absorption.

It charged that the fiscal policy framework proposed an austerity package disguised as fiscal consolidation which was never agreed upon by social partners in the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

These included reduction of transfers to local government reduced spending by the National Skills Fund and sector education and training authorities, among others.

"These austerity measures are draconian and anti-working class and the poor which will lead to the collapse of service delivery and weaken the state’s capacity to deliver services especially to poor communities and the rural areas.

"They have a huge potential to undermine social cohesion and will lead to social strife to pit the ANC-led government against its core constituency and ultimately lead to the demise of our glorious movement," Nehawu said, adding that the ANC national leadership should call Mboweni into order.

Political Bureau

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