Johannesburg - The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, says the Public Servants Association (PSA) is violating bargaining council rules by serving her department with a notice to strike on Monday.
Dlodlo said the department was assessing the possible impact the strike might have on service delivery and has warned workers that the “no-work no pay” policy will be applied for those who decide to join the strike.
The PSA announced that it would be embarking on a strike action over the protracted public-wage negotiations. It served the department and the Public Sector Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSBCB) with a 7-day notice to strike. It said the strike would be supported by some of its 230 000 members and has warned that a large number of services will be affected.
The union said the deal currently on the table did not represent its members' interests and was far below what was expected.
The three-year deal includes; a 7% increase for junior employees, 6.5% for mid-level employees and 6% for senior staff for 2018/2019. The second and third-year increases will be on sliding scale. The deal also includes changes to spousal housing allowances.
The PSA is among a group of unions that have declined to sign the three-year wage deal following months of negotiations with the government. The three-year wage deal was presented at the bargaining council, but only about 40% of employees represented at the council had signed the deal as of the end of May.
The three-year deal needs 50%+1 employees, represented by their unions, to sign for it to be implemented. The deadline for the unions to sign ends on June 18. Dlodlo has the powers to implement the agreement unilaterally even with only 40% employees agreeing to it.
Dlodlo said on Wednesday that the PSA was going against protocol in embarking on a strike before the June 18 deadline for unions to consider the deal.
“According to public service bargaining protocols, this timeframe has not lapsed and therefore the PSA has no legal standing to embark on an industrial action which is clearly in violation of the PSCBC rules and procedure,” said Dlodlo.