Public servants ‘insulted’ by 5,8% offer

2015-04-24 00:00

PUBLIC servants who are members of the public service unions affiliated to Cosatu yesterday threatened a full blown strike if they did not receive the 10% wage hike they want.

Thousands took to the streets in a peaceful and well-organised march to ­demand salary increases and extended paid leave. To show they mean business, Cosatu banded together its six public service unions yesterday in a massive protest on Chief Albert Luthuli Street outside the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury.

Members from the National ­Education, Health and Allied Worker’s Union (Nehawu); the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru); the ­Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa); the South ­African State and Allied Workers Union (Sasawu) and the Public and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Pawusa) joined together with Cosatu in a flurry of red t-shirts yesterday.

According to their attendance list, more than 5 000 members from all unions were expected to attend the protest which demanded a 10% salary increase, a R1 500 housing allowance, six months of paid maternity leave and 10 days of paid paternity leave.

Along with protestors who marched in Pretoria yesterday, the group gathered outside the KZN Treasury building to display their dissatisfaction and anger at the government department in holding funds they feel should be allocated to them.

Popcru provincial secretary Kwenza Nxele said the union had discovered that the main cause of their problems lies at treasury. “The government cannot ­function without public servants and we have needs which cannot be ignored,” Nxele said.

The thousands of public servants ­covered the street in a sea of red, singing and dancing with picket boards illustrating their demands.

Sadtu provincial secretary Nomarshiya Caluza said the offered increase of 5,8% and R1 200 housing allowance is “an insult to the workers”.

“We are ready for a full blown strike,” Caluza said. “This is just the beginning.”

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