Sars strike over, workers to receive 8% wage increase
Pretoria - The strike by the South African Revenue Services (Sars) workers is over.
This after the Public Servants Association (PSA), the majority union at Sars, on Monday reached a wage agreement following lengthy and after-hour negotiations, picketing and demonstrations by employees.
Last week, at least 9 000 workers at Sars embarked on a legal strike, demanding 11.4 percent salary increases while Sars was only prepared to pay seven percent. The strike crippled Sars services as the revenue collector had to close down 33 of its 53 branches across the country.
Ivan Fredericks, PSA general manager, said that the wage agreement will see Sars employees receiving a salary increase of eight percent, effective from 1 April 2019.
"This is more than the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) and is a victory for Sars employees," Fredericks said.
"The PSA, with the support of its members, finally negotiated an agreement that will see employees receiving wages based on a higher-than-projected CPI, as they will receive an increase in year two and three based on the projected CPI plus two percent."
The multi-term agreement also includes an increase in the long-service award amount and the introduction of eight days' day prenatal and vaccination leave.
The agreed proposal is similar to the one made by the CCMA of an eight percent increase across the board, an agreement on prenatal leave, performance bonuses for those who qualify and that the wage hike be part of a single year agreement.
"Sars can under current circumstances ill-afford to be operating under-capacity, as the country struggles to collect revenue, while tethering on the brink of possible credit-rate cuts," he said.
"The PSA is pleased that Sars, by reaching this agreement, acknowledges the importance of the work being rendered by its employees."
African News Agency (ANA)