southafricalogoFin24 reports that an increase in the wages of public servants, which was originally due to kick in on 1 April in terms of a wage agreement reached in 2018, is still on ice.  

This comes after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced an ambitious plan in his recent Budget address to save some R160 billion in the state's wage bill over three years.  But in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said the wage bill was not bloated, and accused the minister of being "irresponsible" in announcing his plans in his Budget address instead of in a collective bargaining process.  Unions indicated on Wednesday that the first steps had been taken towards declaring a dispute.  "Cosatu prepared a letter putting them [government] on terms.  They acknowledged receipt of our letter.  We are completing the referral of a dispute so that we follow the internal processes," Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and Cosatu coordinator at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), advised.  Once the council has appointed a commissioner, a conciliation or arbitration process would follow, Maluleke advised.  Indicating that the collective agreement was "legally binding”, he went on to say:  "We don't think there will be any solution, really, apart from the legal route that is prescribed by the Constitution of the PSCBC."  A Department of Public Service and Administration spokesperson that it "continued to look for solutions".


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page