Nehawu condemns Zuma’s wage hike for politicians

2010-11-15 15:14

The National Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) today condemned President Jacob Zuma’s decision to grant himself and other public office bearers a 5% salary increase.

A statement by the union read: “Nehawu is deeply disappointed by the president’s decision to approve the salary increases of political leaders by 5% for this year, especially because these leaders already earn huge salaries and have many benefits.

“We call for the reversal of that decision. The union challenges all political leaders to follow the advice they gave to public servants by rejecting the increase and forwarding that money to service delivery priorities.”

Zuma announced on Friday that public office bearers would receive a 5% increase on their total salary packages, two percentage points less than that recommended by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.

Judge Willie Seriti said the commission was recommending a 7% increase in total remuneration packages of all public office bearers for the 2010/11 fiscal year.

The salary hikes will take effect from April 2010.

Zuma should earn R2 367 467, an increase of R112 737 instead of the R157 831 increase that had been recommended.

Nehawu said: “Politicians already earn too much money when you think of the poverty that surrounds them in this country and it is ridiculous that they can receive an increase that is equivalent to an annual salary of a nurse or a police officer.”

The union pointed out that public sector workers who went on strike earlier this year were told that their demands for an 8.5% salary increase were rejected “because there was no money”.

They ultimately received 7.5%.

“The senior state officials need to understand that they are expected to serve the public, not enrich themselves, and it is disappointing to see that this wage hike is going to exacerbate the apartheid wage gap between the rich and the poor,” the statement read.

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