News24

Public sector pay talks to resume

2012-06-25 16:09

Johannesburg - Public sector pay talks will resume on Monday afternoon, unions and the public service ministry confirmed.

"Both the parties have said they are meeting in good faith," said ministerial spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

He said the talks were expected to start at about 15:00 in Pretoria.

The talks deadlocked in May, but newly-appointed Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu tried to revive them in June.

The new talks deadlocked mid-month when the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC), representing 11 unions, declared a wage dispute.

The government's last offer to civil servants was a 9% raise, made up of a 6.5% salary rise and a 2.5% increase in benefits.

Labour is demanding an 8% salary increase.

On Monday, Mabaya said it was in the interest of the government and the unions to finalise negotiations.

"Between the two parties I have not heard of the word 'strike'. It's in the media," said Mabaya.

Danny Adonis, general manager of the Public Servants' Association (PSA), which is aligned with the Independent Labour Caucus, said unions were happy to sit around the table.

"It's a good thing the minister has called us back. We will be there, we will see what comes up."

Adonis said talk of strike action was not appropriate at this stage.

"We try not to talk about strikes. We would rather have a settlement."

Sisulu has previously said the government's last offer was already higher than the 5% for which the Treasury had budgeted.