Do-or-die scenario as public sector wage talks hit a brick wall

By Siphelele Dludla 56m in the past

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JOHANNESBURG – A WAGE dispute is looming between public sector employees unions and the federal government as negotiations have deadlocked on the bargaining council, which might threaten environment friendly service supply.

This after the unions yesterday seemingly refused to maneuver from their calls for and the federal government from its provide, respectively, as wage negotiations resumed for the fourth spherical.

Public sector employees unions are demanding 7 % wage will increase, amongst different calls for, whereas the federal government stays steadfast in its zero % wage provide. Analysts have warned that elevating employees salaries above inflation amid deteriorating fiscus might see South Africa’s sovereign credit score rankings standing degraded additional into junk.

The public sector wage invoice is amongst three of the fastest-growing authorities expenditures.

The Public Servants Association (PSA), which represents greater than 235 000 public sector staff, yesterday mentioned the state of affairs was now at a “do-or-die” level as a result of authorities’s recalcitrance on their calls for.

PSA spokesperson Reuben Maleka mentioned the choices they’re left with had been to launch a dispute, go for conciliation and provides 48 hours discover for an indefinite strike. Maleka, nevertheless, mentioned the unions must shut down the public service if the wage dispute reaches that time.

“We are at the stage where today you can regard it as a do-or-die day. As we speak right now we still don’t have any tangible offer from the employer,” Maleka mentioned. “We fear that should the employer still stick to its offer of zero percent, we unfortunately as labour united are going to launch a dispute and go through a process of conciliation, which is going to lead to an indefinite strike action in the public sector.”

Maleka mentioned they had been hoping to have obained a new provide from the federal government by the tip of business yesterday. Two weeks in the past, Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu appealed to the public to submit proposals on the way to break the present impasse.

In February, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took a arduous line in opposition to the ballooning public sector wage invoice which is predicted to rise by 1.2 % each year for the subsequent three years. Mboweni introduced that the federal government would freeze wage will increase for its 1.2 million employees over the medium time period to avoid wasting R264.9 billion in expenditure.

In the 2019/20 monetary year, the federal government spent 34 % of the gross home product, equalling R623.8bn, to pay public servants.

But the federal government’s expenditure on wages remains to be anticipated to be R650.4bn this monetary year.

Terebinth Capital chief funding officer Erik Nel mentioned the federal government’s expenditure development was “on an unsustainable path”.

Nel mentioned the federal government wanted to indicate it might cease expenditure from rising exponentially. “What we do not want to see is a situation where gains are wasted by paying inflated public sector wages rather than invest in the productive side of the economy,” Nel mentioned.

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