The government has reached an agreement with a majority of public-sector unions after the Public Servants Association (PSA) accepted its interim 1.5% wage offer.
On Monday, the PSA announced that its members had accepted the offer which includes a monthly cash gratuity ranging from R1,200 to R1,600. The cash payment will be backdated from 1 April and last until 31 March 2022.
This means that government has reached the statutory majority for the number of public-sector unions that have accepted its wage offer after prolonged negotiations at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).
The other unions that accepted the offer include the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa).
Nehawu, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and the South African Policing Union (Sapu) have rejected the offer.
The PSA, which represents 230,000 public servants, said it regarded government’s interim wage offer as a temporary measure in the absence of no agreement being reached on their other salary demands related to a housing allowance and medical aid.
“The PSA was set to serve the employer with a strike notice after its members voted in favour of such action to apply pressure on the employer to pay attention to employees’ pleas for a salary adjustment to sustain themselves. The PSCBC, however, reconvened on 6 July 2021 and the employer presented a revised offer as a stop-gap measure to alleviate financial pressure on public servants.
“Clause 3.3 of the agreement provides that the cash allowance will remain in force until a new agreement is reached, indicating that the agreement does not respond to workers’ demands and is regarded as a temporary measure in the absence of no agreement being reached on tabled salary demands,” the PSA said in a statement.
The union also said its members accepted government’s wage offer due to concerns about embarking on industrial action during the Covid-19 pandemic and the ban of large public gatherings.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe